Vascular screening is a kind of check-up done to know about the health of your arteries and veins (also called your blood vessels). It can help find out if you are suffering from vascular disease.

When a screening is performed, it provides the required information to your healthcare provider. As a result, he can prescribe the best treatment to reduce the risk of vascular disease in the future and improve your health. In some patients, test results uncover arterial weakness, blockages, or other factors that need immediate medical care.

What is a vascular screening?

It is used to assess the chances of having various problems related to the arteries and veins. The results of vascular testing help detect the risks and early warning signs of various heart problems such as stroke, peripheral artery disease, abdominal aortic aneurysm, etc. It can also help identify whether a person is at risk of a heart attack.

Different tests of vascular screening-

In general, a vascular screening includes three different tests:

Carotid ultrasound

It uses sound waves to create a diagnostic image of a specific body part. Usually, this test is done to check the presence of fatty deposits that otherwise block the blood flow in the carotid artery in your neck. These blockages, if left unattended, can lead to a stroke.

Abdominal aortic aneurysm

An aneurysm is an arterial wall weakness that worsens over time if left untreated. It can reduce blood flow and may even cause a severe medical emergency. Unfortunately, people often do not realize that they are suffering from this condition until or unless the disease becomes life-threatening.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD)

This disease occurs when narrowed blood vessels prevent blood flow to the extremities. For example- blood vessels may not be able to pass the blood to the legs and feet. With time, this disease worsens due to arterial plaque formation. However, it can be identified with the help of some noninvasive tests that mainly focus on blood flow to the ankles.

Who is an ideal candidate for vascular screening?

A person can consider this screening if he is suffering from the risk factors for any vascular disorder. For example, a person with a family history of stroke, aneurysm, or PAD should undergo routine vascular screening. You can go for your first vascular screening in your early 30s.

Common risk factors for vascular complications are listed below-

Some factors can increase your risk of cardiomyopathy. They are listed below-

  • Present or past smoking history
  • Current or past high blood pressure
  • Overweight
  • Extreme stress levels
  • An unhealthy and inactive lifestyle
  • High cholesterol
  • High sugar level

Your healthcare provider may suggest you go for a vascular screening if you have recently shown symptoms that may hint toward a serious issue, for example- unexplained chest pain. Many other tests, such as stress testing, can also be recommended by your doctor to get detailed information about your health.

Benefits of a vascular screening

The first and foremost benefit of vascular screening is its ability to diagnose health conditions unknown to the patient. This test is an effective and noninvasive way of identifying the risk levels for many vascular conditions. Based on the test results, your healthcare provider can recommend a treatment that can reduce the chances of a serious vascular event in the future.