Can I Be Tested for Clogged Arteries?

Wednesday, 09 Apr 2014 04:24 PM

By Peter Hibberd, M.D.

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Question: Is there a test to tell how clogged my arteries are?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
 
Yes. There are several options. We use arterial duplex studies (arterial ultrasound) to estimate artery blockage. Deep artery imaging requires a digital arteriogram or CT angiogram (dye study) to evaluate artery blockages.
 
The ankle/brachial index is a pulse-pressure screening test used for arterial disease in the legs, and involves no dye or invasive study. There is a CT scan index to evaluate for coronary artery disease that uses a calcification score to estimate disease presence, but unfortunately the X-ray exposure for this test is really too high in my opinion for it to be randomly used as a screening tool on a repeated basis.

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