This test measures your blood pressure at your ankle and your arm while you are at rest. It compares your blood pressure at both points, which can help diagnose peripheral arterial disease of the legs, as well as check your risk of heart attack and stroke. Peripheral artery disease is a condition in which the arteries in your legs or arms are narrowed or blocked. People with peripheral artery disease are at an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, poor circulation and leg pain. The test is painless and similar to getting your blood pressure taken in a routine doctor visit, and you may feel some pressure on your arm or ankle when the cuff inflates.
How Should I Prepare the Day Before the Procedure?
There are generally no special instructions to prepare for an ankle-brachial index test. You may consider wearing loose, comfortable clothing that allows the technician to easily place a blood pressure cuff on your ankle and upper arm.
What Happens on the Day of the Procedure?
A technician measures your blood pressure in both your arms using an inflatable cuff. Next, they will use the same process to measure the blood pressure in two arteries in both your ankles, and may use a hand-held Doppler ultrasound device that your doctor will press on your skin.
When Will I Get My Results?
Your doctor will talk with you about the results the same day or at a follow-up appointment.
If it’s determined that you have a blockage, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes, medications or surgery to treat PAD. Talk to your doctor about your options.