Pulse Volume Recordings, also known as a VL PVR exam, is a non-invasive test that is designed to measure the volume of arterial blood flow (circulation) in the legs or arms. It is a blood pressure test. Here is what you will experience:
PREPARATION: Please bring comfortable clothing and shoes to your exam.
PROCEDURE: For the Legs: To begin the exam, you will be asked to remove your shoes, socks and pants and to lie on the exam table with a sheet draped over you. Blood pressure cuffs will be placed on your arms, thighs, calves, ankles and feet. These cuffs will be inflated twice. The first time the cuffs are inflated, they will measure the volume of blood that passes through the artery underneath the cuff. This volume is registered as a waveform on the PVR machine. The physician can determine if there is any blockage in the arteries above or at the level of the cuff by looking at the size and shape of the waveform.
The second time the cuffs are inflated, an actual blood pressure is taken. Pressures obtained by the cuffs on the legs are compared to the pressures obtained in the arms. This comparison is called the Ankle Brachial Index. The physician can determine the severity of decreased blood flow of the legs by this index.
The technologist may decide to exercise you by having you walk on the treadmill or stand on the floor and perform heel raises. Ankle waveforms and pressures are obtained immediately after exercise and compared to the ankle waveforms and pressures before exercise. This can also help the physician determine the severity of decreased blood flow in the legs.
PROCEDURE: For the Arms: To begin the exam you will be asked to remove your shirt and a short hospital gown will be given to you to put on. You will be asked to sit on the side of the exam table. Blood pressure cuffs will be placed on the upper arms, forearms and wrists. The first time the cuffs inflate with air, they will measure the volume of blood that passes through the arteries in your arms. The cuff will measure this volume as a waveform. The physician can determine by the size and shape of the waveform if there is any blockage in your arteries.
The second time the cuffs inflate, they will obtain an actual blood pressure. If you do have blockage in your arteries, the physician can determine the severity by your blood pressure in each cuff.
This exam will take approximately 60 minutes.