Ankle Brachial Index Test

Patients with suspected peripheral vascular disease frequently complain of one or more of these symptoms: pain and/or cramping in the legs while walking or at rest, cold and/or discolored legs or feet, thickened nails, a history of artery blockages, diabetes, numbness in arms or legs, diminished pulses, or multiple others.

The ABI Test is used to predict the severity of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) that may be present. By dividing the highest blood pressure at the ankle by the highest recorded pressure in either arm, the ankle-brachial index (ABI) can be calculated. A decrease in the ABI result with exercise is a sensitive indicator that significant PAD is probably present.

What to Expect: This noninvasive test is done by measuring blood pressure and Doppler signals at the ankle and in the arm while a person is at rest, lying comfortably on a table. There is no sedation or medication adjustments required for this test. There are no needles, dyes, or radiation used. It takes approximately 45 minutes from start to finish, and the patient is able to drive home.

A normal resting ankle-brachial index is 1 to 1.1. This means that your blood pressure at your ankle is the same or greater than the pressure at your arm and there is no significant narrowing or blockage of blood flow.

The resting ankle-brachial index is abnormal when:

The ABI is less than 0.95. This may indicate significant narrowing of one or more blood vessels in the legs.

The ABI is less than 0.8. Pain in the foot, leg, or buttock may occur during exercise.

The ABI is less than 0.4. Symptoms may occur when at rest.

The ABI is 0.25 or below. Severe limb-threatening PAD is probably present.

Testing Preparation: There are no specific instructions that apply – A patient may eat, drink, and take all medications. There are no clothing/shoe restrictions. The patient will change into a gown upon arrival.

Location: Currently, this test is being done in our Farmington Hills’ and Novi offices.

Questions? contact us