New ACC Report Helps Optimize Use of Noninvasive Vascular Tests

The American College of Cardiology’s recent report expands the use of ultrasound for venous issues.

Published in July of 2013, the ACC (American College of Cardiology) report developed with 10 other leading professional societies outlines criteria for the appropriate use of certain noninvasive vascular tests for patients with suspected disorders of the venous system. Dr. Jeffrey Alpern, DO, a cardiovascular surgeon and the founder of Vein Specialists of Arizona knows that treatment begins with accurate diagnosis obtained during a comprehensive screening exam and ultrasound scan performed during the first appointment.

“All too often, I saw patients who had been incorrectly diagnosed and treated for peripheral artery disease (PAD) when their problem was caused by an underlying venous problem,” Dr. Alpern states. “I knew the answer for these patients was all about accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment through the least invasive, quick and relatively painless office procedures.”

Dr. Heather Gornik, MD, FACC, cardiologist and vascular medicine specialist at the Cleveland Clinic and also Chair of the report’s writing committee explains the findings in the ACC report.

“Vascular lab testing is central to the care of patients with most peripheral vascular disorders, but appropriate use criteria for these [technologies] have lagged behind those for cardiac testing,” said Dr. Gornik. “With this report, we now have multidisciplinary criteria upon which we can start maximizing the quality and appropriateness of what we do in the vascular lab every day.”

Dr. Gornik adds, “”Vascular ultrasound is now the best, most accurate test we have for diagnosing DVT and it has clear advantages, including its low risk to the patient with no exposure to radiation or contrast dye and the fact that it is less expensive relative to other tests.”
Read the full report:
Dr. Alpern also trained at the Cleveland Clinic and not only agrees with the study, but has been a leader in the area of using noninvasive ultrasound for the diagnosis of his patient’s vein issues.



Dr. Jeffrey Alpern is a Cardiovascular Surgeon who was the first DO to perform a heart and heart/lung transplant in the world. Among his other impressive qualifications, Dr. Alpern trained at the world renowned Cleveland Clinic and was Surgical Director of Heart and Lung Transplantation at both Temple University and Hahnemann University Hospitals in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. He currently is Director and founding member of Desert Cardiovascular Surgeons in Phoenix, and founder of Vein Specialists of Arizona located in Phoenix’s West Valley. Dr. Jeffrey Alpern, DO, is one of a handful of surgeons worldwide to use fast, virtually painless, safe and effective laser ablation and radiofrequency (RF) techniques for the treatment of existing varicose veins, chronic venous insufficiency and venous leg ulcers.


Board Certified Phlebologist (medical specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of venous origin), Gary L. Kersten, MD, has been practicing medicine for more than 30 years, dedicating his practice exclusively to the treatment of varicose veins and venous insufficiency since 2007. Dr. Kersten began his medical career as a Board Certified OB/GYN in Michigan, IL and Arizona. Many women first suffer varicose veins during pregnancy. When Dr. Kersten had the opportunity for advanced specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of varicose veins, he discovered his true passion. Dr. Kersten joined the medical team of Vein Specialists of Arizona in 2013.


Vein Specialists of Arizona (VSA) is a state-of-the-art vein center that defines a new standard in care for the diagnosis and treatment of varicose veins, spider veins, leg ulcers and chronic venous insufficiency. From vein treatments that correct existing underlying pathology to procedures that erase spider veins before the patient’s eyes, we think you will find VSA to be your best choice for venous issues. Your compassionate, effective, safe, affordable and convenient vein treatment at VSA begins with an ultrasound screening exam. Please visit website, or call 623-428-0068. Vein Specialists of Arizona also services local community needs with a bilingual staff – Se Habla Español!