ABI : Ankle-Brachial Index Test

What is an Ankle-Brachial Index Test?

An Ankle-Brachial Index test also known as ABI is a test done to check the pressure of the ankles and arms while at rest. An ABI can determine the severity of Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD). PAD is a common disease that decreases the blood flow to the arteries of the legs and feet.

Before the test is performed you will be asked to remove your shoes and socks and to lie flat on the exam table. Then, we will place blood pressure cuffs on your arms and ankles, and toes. We will first check the pressure of arms, then legs and finally your toes.

Result of test may be as follows:

A normal ABI means that your blood pressure to your ankles is the same or greater than the pressure of your arms which would rule out significant narrowing or blockage of blood flow.

An abnormal ABI will show significant narrowing of one or more blood vessels in the leg. Depending on the severity of the narrowing or blockage symptoms can occur such as, thickening of toenails, pain in leg or foot, difficulty walking long distances, tingling sensation and hair loss.

Results may be discussed the same day if your doctor is available or you may need a follow up appointment to discuss the results and implications in your treatment.