November 15, 1996

Vascular Lab first in Nashville to gain ICAVL accredidation

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Dr. Thomas Naslund (right) and technician Rosanna Pierce attend to patient James Graham in VUMC's Vascular Lab, which recently gained accreditation from the ICAVL.

Vascular Lab first in Nashville to gain ICAVL accredidation

Recent studies have shown that surgery to the carotid arteries when a severe blockage is present can extend a patient's chances of survival.

Non-invasive testing is the critical first link between identifying a blockage in the carotid artery and performing the necessary surgery to help the patient.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center's Vascular Lab has stepped to the forefront in providing this critical diagnostic service by becoming the first laboratory in the Nashville area to be accredited by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Vascular Laboratories (ICAVL) in extracranial cerebrovascular testing.

The accreditation will help build confidence in test results in the minds of patients, said Dr. Thomas C. Naslund, assistant professor of Surgery.

The ICAVL was created in the late 1980s to accredit labs and to inform the public about which labs are the most accurate and produce the highest quality results.

Vascular laboratories become accredited by the ICAVL after submitting to years of testing, which compares non-invasive test results with invasive results to see if they are correctly interpreted by the lab.

The Vascular Lab's accreditation at VUMC took more than 10 months and required Naslund to hire a full-time technician just to examine the results. The lab is also accredited in Peripheral Venous and Peripheral Arterial Vascular testing. These tests examine arteries and veins in extremities for signs of breakdown or blockage.

Naslund believes the Vascular Lab will continue to lead the way in accurate testing by encouraging people to look at different labs' accreditation or license.

"You can't offer an operation to a patient who doesn't need it. You also can't miss patients who need operations. You have to be able to provide highly accurate testing in order to provide good decision making," said Naslund.