Peripheral Arterial Disease (P.A.D.)


Your Family and Medical History

P.A.D. is diagnosed based on a person's medical and family histories, a physical exam, and results from medical tests. To learn about your medical and family histories, your doctor may ask about

The Physical Exam

During the physical exam, your doctor will look for signs of P.A.D. He or she may check the blood flow in your legs or feet to see whether you have weak or absent pulses. Your doctor also may check the pulses in your leg arteries for an abnormal whooshing sound called a bruit (broo-E). He or she can hear this sound with a stethoscope. A bruit may be a warning sign of a narrowed or blocked artery.

Your doctor may compare blood pressure between your limbs to see whether the pressure is lower in the affected limb. He or she may also check for poor wound healing or any changes in your hair, skin, or nails that might be signs of P.A.D.

Diagnostic Tests

Tests are used to diagnose P.A.D. These tests include