ABI (Ankle Brachial Index) Testing An Overview
The ankle-brachial index test compares the circulation, blood flow, and blood pressure at the ankle and in the arm. ABI testing is a quick, non-invasive procedure that is used to asses a patient’s risk of peripheral artery disease.
Why is ABI testing performed?
ABI testing is commonly used to check for signs of peripheral artery disease, or PAD. PAD occurs when blood flow to the arteries in the arms and legs is disturbed which leads to narrowing or blockage of the arteries. The limbs don’t get the oxygen they need which puts patients with PAD at a higher risk of stroke or heart attack.
In some cases, a physician may also recommend a carotid ultrasound and abdominal ultrasound to fully asses the condition of the arteries.
ABI (Ankle Brachial Index) Testing What to Expect
How To Prepare
ABI testing does not require patients to follow any strict preparation steps. However, patients may want to wear comfortable clothing that allows their technician to access the designated testing area. If ABI testing is performed in conjunction with another test, patients may be asked to follow certain preparation steps.
What To Expect
During ABI testing, you will be asked to lie on your back on an exam table. A technician will use inflatable cuffs to check blood pressure in both the ankles and arms. Your technician will also apply gel to an ultrasound device and gently press it on the arm and ankle to access the blood flow. The ultrasound device uses sound waves to produce images needed to asses blood flow.
ABI testing is a quick, painless procedure that is typically completed in less than an hour. Your physician will asses the results and determine if further testing is needed.