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
|Rank||HCPCS/CPT code||HCPCS/CPT description||# total procedures||Explore dataset|
|1||93971||Duplex scan of extremity veins, unilateral||2,670,621||Explore|
|2||93970||Duplex scan of extremity veins, complete bilateral||2,168,195||Explore|
|3||93880||Extracranial artery study, bilateral||1,866,967||Explore|
|4||93922||Upper/lower extremity study, 2 levels||1,079,280||Explore|
|7||93925||LOWER EXTREMITY STUDY||650,866||Explore|
|8||93923||UPR/LXTR ART STDY 3+ LVLS||424,971||Explore|
|9||93926||LOWER EXTREMITY STUDY||263,398||Explore|
|11||93886||INTRACRANIAL COMPLETE STUDY||135,822||Explore|
|12||93990||DOPPLER FLOW TESTING||90,728||Explore|
|13||93890||TCD VASOREACTIVITY STUDY||68,043||Explore|
|14||93892||TCD EMBOLI DETECT W/O INJ||64,178||Explore|
|16||93924||LWR XTR VASC STDY BILAT||60,602||Explore|
|17||93931||UPPER EXTREMITY STUDY||51,902||Explore|
|18||93882||EXTRACRANIAL UNI/LTD STUDY||35,884||Explore|
|19||93930||UPPER EXTREMITY STUDY||25,476||Explore|
|20||93985||DUP-SCAN HEMO COMPL BI STD||24,226||Explore|
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.
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