Healthcare Insights

Top 20 noninvasive vascular diagnostic study procedures

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide, representing about 32% of global deaths in 2019, according to the World Health Organization

Successful management of cardiovascular disease begins with detection—the earlier, the better. Using noninvasive vascular diagnostic studies, healthcare providers can identify diseases of the heart and blood vessels early, with minimal risk or preparation on the patient’s part.  

What is a noninvasive vascular study?  

Noninvasive vascular studies are diagnostic procedures that examine arteries and veins using ultrasound technology rather than needles or imaging contrast dye.  

These painless procedures help providers determine the presence of disease, its location, and how far it has progressed.  

Below, we’ve compiled a list of the top noninvasive vascular diagnostic studies by total procedure volume based on 2021 claims data. 

Most common noninvasive vascular study procedures in 2020

RankHCPCS/CPT codeHCPCS/CPT description# total proceduresExplore dataset
193971Duplex scan of extremity veins, unilateral2,670,621Explore
293970Duplex scan of extremity veins, complete bilateral2,168,195Explore
393880Extracranial artery study, bilateral1,866,967Explore
493922Upper/lower extremity study, 2 levels1,079,280Explore
593976VASCULAR STUDY732,750Explore
693975VASCULAR STUDY 714,248Explore
793925LOWER EXTREMITY STUDY650,866Explore
893923UPR/LXTR ART STDY 3+ LVLS424,971Explore
993926LOWER EXTREMITY STUDY263,398Explore
1093978VASCULAR STUDY239,127Explore
1293990DOPPLER FLOW TESTING90,728Explore
1493892TCD EMBOLI DETECT W/O INJ64,178Explore
1593979VASCULAR STUDY63,616Explore
1693924LWR XTR VASC STDY BILAT60,602Explore
1793931UPPER EXTREMITY STUDY51,902Explore
1993930UPPER EXTREMITY STUDY25,476Explore
2093985DUP-SCAN HEMO COMPL BI STD24,226Explore

Fig 1. – Data from Definitive Healthcare ClaimsMx product for calendar year 2021. Claims data is sourced from multiple medical claims clearinghouses in the United States and is updated monthly. Data is accurate as of August 2022. 

Which noninvasive vascular study procedure was performed most in 2021?  

A limited or unilateral duplex scan of extremity veins was the most-performed noninvasive vascular study procedure in 2021, with 2.67 million procedures performed that year.  

The complete bilateral duplex scan of extremity veins came in second, with over 2.16 million procedures performed in 2021.  

Venous duplex scans use the high-frequency sound waves of ultrasound technology to examine the veins that return blood to the heart. These procedures may capture images of the upper extremities, such as the neck, arms, and wrists, or the lower extremities, including the legs and feet. Likewise, they may target one side of the body (limited/unilateral) or both sides (complete bilateral).  

Unilateral and bilateral venous duplex scans can help healthcare providers identify common cardiovascular disorders, including blood clots, deep vein thrombosis, and chronic venous insufficiency.  

What types of vascular tests are there?  

Several kinds of noninvasive vascular tests exist, but the three most common are used to study veins, carotid arteries, and renal arteries.  

Venous ultrasounds typically examine extremities for blood clots or to determine the source of extremity pain caused by physical activity.  

Carotid ultrasounds measure arterial blood flow to the brain and can help predict or prevent stroke. Extracranial artery studies, the third most-performed noninvasive vascular studies in 2021, often examine the carotid arteries. 

Renal artery ultrasounds measure blood flow to the kidneys and are usually ordered for patients with severe hypertension.  

Learn more 

Healthcare Insights are developed with healthcare commercial intelligence from the Definitive Healthcare platform. Want even more insights? Start a free trial now and get access to the latest healthcare commercial intelligence on hospitals, physicians and other healthcare providers.