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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:

Alternative Names

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


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.

Fowler GC, Reddy B. Noninvasive venous and arterial studies of the lower extremities. In: Pfenninger JL, Fowler GC, eds. Pfenninger & Fowler's Procedures for Primary Care. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2011:chap 88.

Lal BK. Vascular laboratory. In: Cronenwett JL, Johnston KW, eds. Rutherford's Vascular Surgery. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 17.

Review Date: 7/3/2016
Reviewed By: Jason Levy, MD, Northside Radiology Associates, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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