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 - Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Chicago

Arterial Exam

Arteries deliver the blood from the heart to the body. An arterial exam often consists of a scan and a series of blood pressure (BP) readings. The scan uses sound waves to check how well the blood flows through the arteries to different parts of the body. Specific exams include:

Arterial Exam, Upper Extremity

  • Looks at the arteries from under your arm to the wrist. Both arms are examined.

Arterial Exam, Upper Extremity with Digits

  • Same as the upper extremity exam but also includes the fingers.

Arterial Exam, Lower Extremity

  • Looks at the arteries anywhere from the groin to the ankle or big toe. Both legs are examined.

Arterial Exam with Exercise

  • Checks the same arteries as the lower extremity exam and includes an exercise segment. Patients are asked to walk on a treadmill for five minutes or less. Exercise and resting blood pressure readings in the ankle are compared. This test is usually not done in patients who are over 80 years of age, have a BP greater than 200 or have had a heart attack, stroke or heart surgery within the last year.

Arterial Duplex, Upper

  • Focuses only on a selected artery or area in the arm(s). A picture of the artery wall is taken.

Arterial Duplex, Lower

  • Looks at only a certain area or artery in the leg. A picture of the artery wall is taken.

Arterial Duplex Graft

  • Examines the blood flow in a post-surgery bypass graft.

All of the exams listed above help to detect a blockage in blood flow, such as a blood clot. If blockages are found, the exam tells us where and how severe the blockages are. Each exam, done in the Vascular Lab, takes about an hour.


For more information regarding this test, please contact the Vascular Lab at 312-926-2746


Last UpdateMarch 16, 2011