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What You Need to Know About ABI Testing

ABI testing stands for ankle-brachial index testing. If you think or have been told that you’re at risk of peripheral artery disease, this is an easy, non-invasive form of testing. Buckeye Heart and Vascular Institute, a vascular doctor in Dayton, OH, offers more information so you know what you need to before experiencing the testing.dayton, ohio vascular doctor

Why is ABI Testing Done?

If your Dayton, Ohio vascular doctor is recommending that you get ABI testing, they think that you’re at risk for developing peripheral artery disease. ABI testing compares the circulation, blood flow, and blood pressure at the arm and the ankle. Blood flow in the lower limbs is impaired when you have peripheral artery disease, so this is a test to see if this could be present. You may also need a carotid and/or abdominal ultrasound for further information.

Peripheral Artery Disease

So, what is peripheral artery disease and why is it necessary to be screened for it? Also called PAD, peripheral artery disease comes when you have plaque built up in your legs. Your arteries can be partially or fully blocked, meaning that these limbs aren’t getting the oxygen that they need. Because of this, you’re at a higher risk for a stroke or heart attack.

PAD can impact people of any age, but it’s usually more present in older patients. Any symptoms that you think may be of PAD need to be reported to your doctor immediately. At Buckeye Heart and Vascular Institute, we have a variety of diagnostic testing tools available besides ABI testing. This can determine your exact issue so we can work on a solution.

The symptoms of PAD include:

  • Feeling pain, numbness, or heaviness in your leg muscles
  • Bruising or pale color on the skin
  • Erectile dysfunction in men
  • Muscle cramping
  • Sores or wounds in the lower extremities that take a long time to heal

Since you can be at high risk for stroke and heart attack with PAD, it’s important that you report these symptoms as soon as possible. Never hesitate if you notice any of these symptoms on yourself.

The ABI Testing Process

Before the test, you don’t have to do anything special unless you’re getting other tests that have pre-testing requirements. We just recommend that you wear comfortable clothing that makes it easy to access the areas we’ll need for testing.

While you’re laying on your back, the testing technician will attach inflatable cuffs to your arm and leg to check your blood pressure in both. An ultrasound device will also be utilized to assess blood flow. Ultrasound uses sound waves to produce images that let the technician determine the volume of the blood flow. You’re usually done in less than an hour!

Your Vascular Doctor in Dayton, Ohio

Are you at risk and think you may be having symptoms of PAD? It’s time for you to get tested. Call us today or schedule an appointment online for the future.