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Plethysmography

Respiratory inductance plethysmography; Penile pulse volume recording; Pulse volume recordings; Segmental pulse volume recordings

Plethysmography is used to measure changes in volume in different parts of the body. The test may be done to check for blood clots in the arms and legs. It is also done to measure how much air you can hold in your lungs.

Penile pulse volume recording is a type of this test. It is done on the penis to check for causes of erectile dysfunction.

Most commonly, this test is performed to check blood flow in the arteries of the legs. This is done in people with conditions like hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). Atherosclerosis causes pain during exercise or poor healing of leg wounds.

Related tests include:

References

Burnett AL. Evaluation and management of erectile dysfunction. In: Wein AJ, Kavoussi LR, Partin AW, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 27.

Lal BK, Toursavadkohi S.  Vascular laboratory: venous physiologic assessment. In: Sidawy AN, Perler BA, eds. Rutherford's Vascular Surgery and Endovascular Therapy. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 22.

Tang GL, Kohler TR. Vasuclar laboratory: arterial physiologic assessment. In: Sidawy AN, Perler BA, eds. Rutherford's Vascular Surgery and Endovascular Therapy. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 20.

  • Plethysmography

    Plethysmography - illustration

    A plethysmography test is performed by placing blood pressure cuffs on the extremities to measure the systolic pressure. The cuffs are then attached to a pulse volume recorder (plethysmograph) that displays each pulse wave. The test compares the systolic blood pressure of the lower extremity to the upper extremity, to help rule out disease that blocks the arteries in the extremities.

    Plethysmography

    illustration

    • Plethysmography

      Plethysmography - illustration

      A plethysmography test is performed by placing blood pressure cuffs on the extremities to measure the systolic pressure. The cuffs are then attached to a pulse volume recorder (plethysmograph) that displays each pulse wave. The test compares the systolic blood pressure of the lower extremity to the upper extremity, to help rule out disease that blocks the arteries in the extremities.

      Plethysmography

      illustration

    Tests for Plethysmography

     

     

    Review Date: 6/25/2018

    Reviewed By: Jason Levy, MD, Northside Radiology Associates, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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