Arterial Plethysmography

This is a test in which 3 different blood pressure cuffs are attached to 3 different parts of an extremity. A pulse volume recorder shows waves that are measured. When there is a great difference in the pulse waves, there is an indication there may be a blockage in an artery. A positive test is very reliable; however, a negative test does not necessarily indicate there is not a blockage.

PREPARATION FOR TEST

No preparation or fasting is necessary.

NORMAL FINDINGS

  • Less than 20 mm Hg difference in systolic blood pressure of the lower extremity compared with the upper extremity.

  • Normal pulse wave amplitude showing a steep upswing, an acute narrow peak, and a more gentle down-slope containing a dicrotic notch (normal arterial pulse wave).

Ranges for normal findings may vary among different laboratories and hospitals. You should always check with your doctor after having lab work or other tests done to discuss the meaning of your test results and whether your values are considered within normal limits.

MEANING OF TEST

Your caregiver will go over the test results with you and discuss the importance and meaning of your results, as well as treatment options and the need for additional tests, if necessary.

OBTAINING THE TEST RESULTS

It is your responsibility to obtain your test results. Ask the lab or department performing the test when and how you will get your results.