How is PAES diagnosed?

A vascular specialist is the type of doctor who can best diagnose PAES. You will have a physical exam that includes checking the pulse in your foot and popliteal artery. If you have the condition, the doctor may be able to feel the pulses while you’re resting, but they may be harder to detect when you exercise or flex or extend your foot. Diagnostic tests are done to measure blood flow through the knee, leg and foot.

These can include:

  • Ankle brachial pressures with exercise – Measures the blood pressures in the arms and legs before and after exercise
  • Duplex Ultrasound – Uses sound waves to image the artery and measure blood flow
  • Computed tomographic angiography (CTA) – Type of CT scan that uses dye to look for areas around the knee with poor blood flow or narrowed arteries
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) – Test using magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to provide pictures of muscles tendons and blood vessels inside the body

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/24/2019.

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