Ankle/Brachial Index (ABI)

Ankle/Brachial Index (ABI)

What is it for?

The ankle/brachial index (ABI) is a measurement taken to predict the severity of arterial disease in the legs.

The test measures blood pressure in the legs and compares it to the blood pressure in the arms.  Normally, the blood pressure at the ankle is the same as blood pressure in the arm.  If a patient has peripheral vascular disease, the ankle pressure might be lower.  The ratio of the ankle pressure to the brachial pressure can be an indicator of the severity of a patient’s peripheral vascular disease

How is it done?

Several blood-pressure measurements are taken at rest at the ankles, at other locations on the legs, and the arms. The measurements may also be repeated after a brief period of exercise on the treadmill. If the ABI measurements are abnormal at rest or decrease after exercise, it may be an indicator of peripheral artery disease.

What happens after the test?

The health-care provider who administers the test will send the results to the referring doctor, who will determine if any treatment is necessary.

See Also

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