Ankle Brachial Index Test

An ABI test is a simple, reliable test for diagnosing the presence of blockages in the arteries of the legs – Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD). Research indicates that PAD affects about 10 percent of people over age 55.

The test measures the blood pressure in your ankles and compares it to the blood pressure in your arms. If the blood pressure is lower in your legs than in your arms, it may indicate that there is a restriction of blood flow in your legs.

Your doctor might recommend an ankle-brachial index test if you have leg pain while walking or risk factors for PAD, such as:

  • History of tobacco use
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Restricted blood flow (atherosclerosis) in other parts of your body

The ankle-brachial index (ABI) result is used to predict the severity of peripheral arterial disease (PAD). This test compares the blood pressure measured at your ankle with the blood pressure measured at your arm.

Illustration depicting ankle-brachial pressure index used for detecting peripheral arterial disease

A low ankle-brachial index number can indicate narrowing or blockage of the arteries in your legs.

You may have ankle-brachial index testing before and immediately after walking on a treadmill. An exercise ankle-brachial index test can assess the severity of the narrowed arteries during walking.

A slight drop in your ABI pressures with exercise means that you probably have blockages in your legs. This drop may be important, because PAD can be linked to a higher risk of heart attack or stroke. With the results of the ABI, your physician may order additional tests and treatments.

Ankle Brachial Index at San Tan Cardiovascular Center

San Tan Cardiovascular offers this easy, reliable test as an additional form of diagnosing peripheral arterial disease on patients.

How do I get started?

Contact San Tan Cardiovascular Center today to make an appointment with one of our healthcare providers.

At this appointment:

  • we will review your medical history, discuss your symptoms and perform a non-invasive, diagnostic test to further determine your medical condition,
  • any pertinent testing that needs to be done beforehand will also be ordered at this time.

Our billing department will then contact your health insurance company to obtain prior authorization.  Upon receiving insurance authorization, the test will be scheduled.