Peripheral Arterial tests look for plaque and plaque buildup in the arteries of the legs and/or arms. Blood pressures using blood pressure cuffs that are designed for legs and arms and graphs of actual blood flow are taken to evaluate blood flow to the extremities. These tests are sometimes combined with ultrasound imaging to actually see the arteries of the legs or arms, evaluating the blood flow through them, just like the Carotid Duplex exam.
It is a simple test: you will have your blood pressure measured with special cuffs and, when indicated or ordered, a little gel will be applied to the imaging sites of the legs or arms to get the ultrasound pictures that allow you see and measure arterial blood flow in the extremities.
Your physician will see the measurements and recorded images (if pictures were part of the exam) and give you your results. The results of both tests can then be measured again in the future to see changes and effectiveness of therapies; you just compare the measurements and pictures (if pictures were part of the exam). No prior preparation is needed. It is painless, remarkably easy, highly reliable, and very accurate.