Diagnosis

While no tests can confirm whether you have Buerger's disease, your doctor will likely order tests to rule out other more common conditions or confirm suspicion of Buerger's disease brought on by your signs and symptoms. Tests may include:

Blood tests

Blood tests to look for certain substances can rule out other conditions that may cause similar signs and symptoms. For instance, blood tests can help rule out scleroderma, lupus, blood-clotting disorders and diabetes, along with other diseases and conditions.

The Allen's test

Your doctor may perform a simple test called the Allen's test to check blood flow through the arteries carrying blood to your hands. In the Allen's test, you make a tight fist, which forces the blood out of your hand. Your doctor presses on the arteries at each side of your wrist to slow the flow of blood back into your hand, making your hand lose its normal color.

Next, you open your hand and your doctor releases the pressure on one artery, then the other. How quickly the color returns to your hand may give a general indication about the health of your arteries. Slow blood flow into your hand may indicate a problem, such as Buerger's disease.

Angiogram

An angiogram helps to see the condition of your arteries. An angiogram can be done non-invasively with the use of CT or MRI scans.

Or it may be done by threading a catheter into an artery. During this procedure, a special dye is injected into the artery, after which you undergo a series of rapid X-rays. The dye helps to delineate any artery blockages that show up on the images.

Your doctor may order angiograms of both your arms and your legs — even if you don't have signs and symptoms of Buerger's disease in all of your limbs. Buerger's disease almost always affects more than one limb, so even though you may not have signs and symptoms in your other limbs, this test may detect early signs of vessel damage.

Jan. 28, 2016
References
  1. Buerger's disease. National Organization for Rare Disorders. http://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/buergers-disease/. Accessed Nov. 19, 2015.
  2. Olin, JW. Thromboangiitis obliterans (Buerger's disease). http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 19, 2015.
  3. Cronenwett JL, et al. Thromboangiitis obliterans (Buerger's disease). In: Rutherford's Vascular Surgery. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier, Inc.; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Nov. 19, 2015.
  4. Del Conde I, et al. Thromboangiitis obliterans (Buerger's disease). Techniques in Vascular and Interventional Radiology. 2014;17:234.
  5. Igari K, et al. The epidemiologic and clinical findings of patients with Buerger disease. Annals of Vascular Surgery. In press. Accessed Nov. 19, 2015.
  6. Riggs EA. AllScripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 20, 2015.