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Arterial doppler showed need for bypass surgery but angiogram showed no need. How can the tests differ so much?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 540 Questions
Hi, I am a 42 y.o. woman with type II diabetes and recent breast cancer. While going through chemo last year I started having a lot of pain and weakness in my legs. Recently I had an arterial doppler and was sent to a surgeon who said I would need an aortoiliac bypass, but after sending me for an angiogram he said I would not need surgery. My pcp seems nervous and confused by this. How could the 2 tests differ so much? Should I have any additional tests done to be sure?
Posted Wed, 2 May 2012 in X-ray, Lab tests and Scans
Answered by Dr. Sujeet N Charugulla 8 hours later
Hello and thanks for your query.

I shall make an effort to provide you with good professional recommendations specific to your questions.

Arterial doppler rates low on many counts than an angiogram. Both are useful in their own way. Dopplers would be helpful for immediate review, local reasons. An angiogram would be ideal before surgeries, confirmatory to all tests. It is possible that your doppler would have pointed out a likely obstruction due to many possible reasons, and hence an angiogram has confirmed that it actually is not.

I do not think any other test is necessary over and above an angiogram. As it is a gold standard till date.

Let me know if I have missed out any other concern in your question.

Yet again, I duly appreciate your query to me, I do hope that you have found something useful to help you and I shall be glad to answer any further apprehensions.


Dr Sujeet N Charugulla, MBBS, MD
Consultant Physician.
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