What is an Ankle Brachial Index (ABI)?
An Ankle Brachial Index, or ABI is non-invasive test that measures the blood pressure in your ankles and compares it to the blood pressure in your arms. This test is used for diagnosing or detecting poor circulation in the legs or the severity of Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) which is indicated by lower blood pressure in the legs versus arms. The test can be done at rest or can provide more telling indications when the heart is stressed through exercise on a treadmill.
How is an ABI performed?
During the ABI, you will be asked to remove your clothing from the waist down, leaving your undergarments on, so the technician can place blood pressure cuffs on your arms and legs. The cuffs will be briefly inflated and an ultrasound doppler will be used to determine if there is sufficient blood flow to your legs. This test takes about 30 – 45 minutes.
What is a Stress ABI?
In some cases, a physician may order a Stress ABI. This is done like an ABI with the addition of walking on a treadmill. A Stress ABI is used to determine a decreased amount of blood flow with exercise. This test is also used to rule out other symptoms that may appear to be vascular in nature but are lumbar back pain, joint disease or nerve related.
When will I know the results of my test?
The results of this test will be given to you by your physician at your next follow-up appointment. You are required to wear undergarments for this test. Your test will be rescheduled, otherwise.
Please contact the testing department if you have any questions prior to your test.