SIMPLE TESTING DONE RIGHT IN THE OFFICE
WHAT IS QUANTAFLO FOR?
Peripheral arterial disease, also known as PAD, is a disease that occurs in about 10% of the American population.
PAD gets more common with age, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that up to 20% of people over age 60 have PAD. It is usually caused by the buildup of fat, plaque, and other substances in the arteries, which bring blood away from your heart to the rest of your body. This buildup of substances is also called “atherosclerosis.” Since the fat and plaque clog the arteries, there will be poor circulation to the legs, feet, and sometimes the arms. This means that those areas of the body are not getting the blood flow that they need, which can lead to complications such as wounds that will not heal, infections, and even amputations in severe cases. The American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association have written guidelines recommending PAD testing in people at high risk, including people over age 65.
Although some people with PAD will have no symptoms, the most common symptom is pain while walking that gets better with rest. This type of pain is sometimes described as an ache or a cramp. It can occur in the calves, thighs, hips, or buttocks, and is also known as “claudication.” Other symptoms can include muscle loss, hair loss on the legs or feet, shiny skin, cool skin, discolored skin, coldness or numbness in the toes, and sores on the legs or feet that will not heal. Risk factors for PAD include smoking, high blood pressure, clogged arteries, diabetes high cholesterol, and age greater than 60 years. People with PAD are at higher risk for other diseases that involve clogged arteries, such as coronary artery disease, heart attack and stroke. It is therefore very important to diagnose PAD as early as possible, and to make lifestyle or medication changes that your doctor suggests in order to slow the disease process.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
QuantaFlo is a non-invasive, painless device your doctor may use to diagnose or monitor PAD.
Your doctor will be able to do the test right in the office. You do not need to do anything to prepare for the QuantaFlo test before you come to your appointment. Your doctor will have you take your shoes and socks off before the test. To perform the QuantaFlo test, your doctor will place a sensor on one finger on each hand, and on one toe on each foot, one at a time. The sensor is very similar to others that you may have seen in your doctor’s office to measure your pulse or your blood oxygen level. The sensor will stay on for about 15 seconds. It will calculate changes in blood volume in your arteries, and will send this information to a computer. This will give your doctors the information they need to diagnose PAD and to decide on your course of treatment. The QuantaFlo test takes about 5 minutes and can be performed right in your doctor’s office.