Ankle Brachial Index (ABI)
Ankle brachial index, or ABI, is a screening test for peripheral artery disease (PAD). Peripheral artery disease is a condition where there are narrowed or blocked arteries in the arms or legs. If left untreated, peripheral artery disease can result in leg pain, stroke, heart attack, or poor circulation.
No special preparations are needed before undergoing an ankle brachial index. During the ankle brachial index test, you will lie down on a table, and a technician will measure your blood pressure in both arms. The technician will then measure your blood pressure in the arteries in the left ankle using an inflatable blood pressure cuff. In addition, the technician will use a Doppler ultrasound device to produce images of those arteries. The Doppler ultrasound will provide your doctor with an opportunity to hear the pulse in your ankle. An ankle brachial index takes a few minutes and is painless.
Results are often available immediately after the ankle brachial index test. If peripheral artery disease has been detected, your doctor will develop a customized treatment plan to prevent your condition from worsening. Even if the results show no signs of peripheral artery disease, regular ankle brachial index testing may be required if you are at risk of developing peripheral artery disease.