Ankle Brachial Index Test

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What is an Ankle Brachial Index Test ?

The ankle-brachial index test is a noninvasive way to check for peripheral artery disease (PAD). The disease occurs when narrowed arteries reduce the blood flow to your limbs. PAD can cause leg pain when walking and increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.

 

Why might I need this test?

The main thing you may notice is pain in your legs when you walk or climb stairs. They might feel heavy, numb, or weak.   You may also have these symptoms:

 

  • Less hair on your legs than normal

  • One leg feels cooler

  •  Skin looks pale or kind of blue

  • Sores on your toes, feet, and legs that don’t seem to heal

  • Toenails grow more slowly than they once did

  • Trouble with sexual dysfunction or impotence, often in men with diabetes

 

What happens when the test is performed ?

You will probably be asked to rest for 5 to 30 minutes before the test. You will lie on a table on your back, and a technologist measures your blood pressure in both arms and both ankles, using an inflatable cuff and a hand-held ultrasound device that's pressed on your skin. The device                 uses sound waves and allows your pulse to be heard in your ankle arteries after the cuff is deflated.

 

How do I prepare for the test ?

  • No preparation is necessary, please wear loose comfortable clothing that permit the use of upper arm and lower leg blood pressure cuffs.

  • The test may take 15 to 30 minutes.