The NIVA (Non-invasive Vascular Assessment) Lab is a vascular ultrasound laboratory specializing in non-invasive screening, diagnosis, and management of vascular (blood vessel) disease. No needles, catheters or dyes are required. We utilize advanced ultrasound and Doppler technologies that allow us to evaluate arteries and veins through intact skin (using handheld probes and blood pressure cuffs). Tests are performed when requested by your physician.

petoskey surgeons niva lab staff

NIVA lab technician

Common ultrasound tests include:


Carotid artery duplex is an ultrasound used to evaluate the arteries in the neck, which supply blood to the brain from the heart. Carotid ultrasound can assess for plaque buildup (stenosis).

You may have this test if you have a high risk of stroke, have symptoms of stroke or TIA (mini-stroke), or the doctor hears a bruit (noise) in your neck.


Lower or upper arterial extremity ultrasound evaluates the arteries of the legs or arms for PVOD (peripheral vascular occlusive disease). The most common reason for this testing is claudication, which is muscle cramping secondary to low blood flow. You may have this test if your legs cramp up when walking, have a foot wound that will not heal, low or weak pulses noted at doctor’s exam, or a possible leg aneurysm.


Venous ultrasound evaluates the veins in the legs and arms. This test is usually ordered to diagnose or rule out a DVT (deep vein thrombosis), which is a blood clot within the vein. Patients with this diagnosis often present with leg/arm pain and swelling.


Aortic ultrasounds examine the aorta and iliac arteries in the abdomen level. A common reason for this test is screening, diagnosing, or surveillance of Aortic Aneurysms. An aneurysm is an abnormal dilatation or expansion of an artery, and the abdominal aorta is the most common location. When left undiagnosed, aneurysms can continue to get larger and eventually rupture which can be extremely lethal.


Mesenteric ultrasound evaluates the arteries that supply blood flow to the intestines. Plaque in these arteries may cause abdominal pain often associated with eating. The renal arteries supply blood flow to the kidneys. In the case of renal artery blockage, this can lead to severe high blood pressure.


We offer a screening examination for three of the most common vascular diseases; carotid, aortic aneurysm, and PVOD. This exam is called a “NIVA SCREEN”. Your primary care physician may order this test for you, or you may schedule a screening on your own. A doctor’s referral is not needed for a screening. Results are given to the patient, and if an abnormality is suspected or identified, information can be directed to the patient’s physician. The cost for a NIVA SCREEN is 100.00 payable by the patient at the time of service. Insurance companies typically do not cover screenings.

Image-Guided Biopsy

In addition to the above vascular testing, we also offer in-office ultrasound-guided biopsy of breast, thyroid, and soft tissue abnormalities. Often times these biopsies can be performed in the same setting as the initial consultation with one of our surgeons, thus speeding up the time of diagnosis.

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The NIVA lab is accredited by the Intersocietal Commision for the Accreditation of Vascular Laboratories in extracranial cerebrovascular, peripheral venous, and peripheral arterial testing areas.

Few vascular laboratories in the northern half of the lower peninsula of Michigan, and none in the upper peninsula, are accredited by this highly recognized organization.