The ABI or ankle- brachial index is used to predict peripheral artery disease (PAD). This test is done by measuring blood pressure at the ankle and in the arm while a person is at rest.
What is PAD? Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) occurs when there is a build up of cholesterol and plaque in the arteries of the lower extremities, causing decreased blood flow to the legs and feet.
A PADnet test can provide early detection of PAD when treatment options are broadest (incorporating lifestyle modification and non-invasive and invasive therapeutic options). The PADnet Lab detects blockages in arteries and the quality of blood flow using pulse volume recordings and segmental blood pressure measurements.
Getting ready for this test requires little effort. You will be asked to remove all clothing except undergarments. A gown will be provided or you may bring shorts to wear. This test most often takes 15-20 minutes. Be sure to allow extra time to check in.
You will lie down on the exam table. Pressure cuffs will be wrapped snug around your arms and above the knees, calves, and ankles. The technician will inflate the cuffs and sensors in the cuffs will record the pulse waves that correspond to each beat of your heart.
Blood pressures will be recorded at your arms and ankles. The ABI (ankle-brachial index) is determined by the ratio between these pressures. PAD is diagnosed if your ankle pressure is 90% or lower than your arm pressure. With severe narrowing, the ABI may be less than 50%. If the ABI is abnormal, your doctor may recommend additional diagnostic tests.
Note: You will feel pressure at the location of the cuff being inflated. If the test is painful, let the technologist know.
You may return to your normal routine right after the test. Your doctor will let you know when the results are ready.