ABI (Ankle Brachial Index) Testing An Overview
Ankle Brachial Index (ABI) Testing in Dayton, OH
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.
What is Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)?
Peripheral Artery Disease, or PAD, is a chronic disease caused by plaque build up in the arteries in the legs. Over time, the blood flow in the arteries diminishes, resulting in blocked or partially blocked arteries. PAD can affect anyone at any age, but it is more common in older patients. It is crucial that patients understand their risk of peripheral artery disease and work closely with a physician to address any symptoms they may have.
At Buckeye Heart & Vascular Institute, we offer a complete range of diagnostic imaging and testing. Our team of physicians is highly trained in various aspects of cardiology, including vascular diseases.
Common Symptoms of PAD
It is important to note that many patients experience no symptoms of PAD. Routine screenings can help your physicians identify signs of PAD and create the most appropriate treatment plan for your needs.
- Pain, numbness, or heaviness in the leg muscles.
- Pale color or bruising on the skin
- Sores or wounds on the feet, legs, or toes that heal slowly
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Cramping of the muscles
PAD can increase your risk of stroke and heart attack, so it is important to get treated as soon as possible. PAD is diagnosed with a full evaluation and extensive heart and imaging tests.
Risk Factors For PAD
Certain risk factors cannot be controlled such as family history of PAD, age, and family history of heart disease and stroke. However, there are certain factors patients can control, and eliminating them may help reduce the risk of PAD.
- High blood pressure
- Low amount of physical activity
- Smoking and tobacco use
- High Cholesterol
Working with your physician can help you lower your risk of PAD as well as develop a plan that best suits your needs.