What Does An ABI Test Show?

The ABI is performed by measuring the systolic blood pressure from both brachial arteries and from both the dorsalis pedis and posterior tibial arteries after the patient has been at rest in the supine position for 10 minutes. The systolic pressures are recorded with a handheld 5- or 10-mHz Doppler instrument.

How long does an ABI test take?

The ABI is the preferred way to diagnose PAD because it is simple, fast and sensitive. The test takes about 10 to 20 minutes and can be done in your doctor’s office or an outpatient clinic. The test does not cause any long-term problems.

What is a normal ABI?

A normal resting ankle-brachial index is 1.0 to 1.4. This means that your blood pressure at your ankle is the same or greater than the pressure at your arm, and suggests that you do not have significant narrowing or blockage of blood flow.

How do you get ABI?

Health care providers calculate ABI by dividing the blood pressure in an artery of the ankle by the blood pressure in an artery of the arm. The result is the ABI. If this ratio is less than 0.9, it may mean that a person has peripheral artery disease (PAD) in the blood vessels in his or her legs.

How accurate is the ABI test?

The ABI test approaches 95 percent accuracy in detecting PAD. However, a normal ABI value does not absolutely rule out the possibility of PAD for a few individuals. Some patients with a normal or near-normal ABI results may have few symptoms suggesting PAD.

Is there pain during an ABI test?

The test is painless and similar to getting your blood pressure taken in a routine visit to your doctor. You might want to wear loose, comfortable clothing that allows the technician performing your ankle-brachial index test to easily place a blood pressure cuff on your ankle and upper arm.

Who can perform an ABI?

The ankle brachial index is a medical test used to help identify peripheral artery disease. PADnet® is a quick and easy way to perform an ABI test, and can typically be performed by a medical assistant, and be evaluated remotely by a vascular specialist.

Can you do an ABI without a Doppler?

Ankle-brachial index (ABI) is an excellent method for the diagnosis of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) when it is performed with Doppler. However, this device is not always available for primary care physicians. The ABI measured with stethoscope is an easy alternative approach, but have not been proved to be useful.

What does high blood pressure in ankle mean?

Ankle BP is indicative of arterial disease. Lower ankle BP in the leg suggests blocked blood vessels due to peripheral artery disease (PAD) or atherosclerosis.

What causes claudication?

Claudication is pain in the legs or arms that comes on with walking or using the arms. This is caused by too little blood flow to your legs or arms. Claudication is usually a symptom of peripheral artery disease, in which the arteries that supply blood to your limbs are narrowed, usually because of atherosclerosis.

What is a Abi ultrasound?

An image from an ankle/brachial indices (ABI) ultrasound, which compares the blood flow in your ankle with the blood pressure in your arm. The image shows blood flow in the right common femoral artery.

What are the symptoms of blocked arteries in the legs?


  • Painful cramping in one or both of your hips, thighs or calf muscles after certain activities, such as walking or climbing stairs.
  • Leg numbness or weakness.
  • Coldness in your lower leg or foot, especially when compared with the other side.
  • Sores on your toes, feet or legs that won’t heal.

Is PVD a chronic condition?

This is a chronic inflammatory disease in the arteries. It leads to blood clots in the small- and medium-sized arteries of the arms or legs, eventually blocking them. This disease most commonly occurs in men between ages 20 and 40 who smoke cigarettes.

Does Medicare cover ABI test?

In general, most Medicare carriers consider an “ABI” exam without blood-flow waveforms to be part of the general physical examination, and hence do not reimburse for “ABI’s” unless waveform analysis is included. CPT 93922 provides coverage for a single-level lower extremity physiologic study.

What should your ankle blood pressure be?

Conclusion. A primary reference for normal ankle SBP was suggested as 100-165 mmHg in the young and 110-170 mmHg in the middle-elderly subjects.

What is the main cause of peripheral artery disease?

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) in the legs or lower extremities is the narrowing or blockage of the vessels that carry blood from the heart to the legs. It is primarily caused by the buildup of fatty plaque in the arteries, which is called atherosclerosis.

What should blood pressure in legs be?

Leg blood pressure should be about the same as arm blood pressure. Comparing the two systolic pressures is called the ankle-brachial index. (“Brachial” is the Latin word for “arm.”) The normal index is 0.9 to 1.3.

Why does my doctor check my ankles?

We check your legs and feet to look for swelling. People with heart or liver disease may have fluid back-up in their legs, but it can also be a sign of infection or blood clots. We also check the pulses in your feet and look for any skin problems.

How do you check the circulation in your legs?

If your doctor suspects you have PAD, then they will likely arrange for you to have an Ankle-Brachial Index test (ABI). This is a simple test that can be done in the office to check circulation in the legs. It consists of taking blood pressure in the arms and at the ankles with an ultrasound probe.

Can you do ABI with automatic cuff?

In a previous study , we validated the use of a simple, commercially available, automatic blood pressure device for determining ABI in patients consulting in a cardiology department, compared with intra-arterial measurements and the standard Doppler method.

Can an ABI test be wrong?

There are very few false positives, so it doesn’t require additional confirmatory testing to establish the diagnosis of PAD. Sometimes false-normal ABI results occur in cases of diabetic vascular disease or chronic kidney disease, but this would be rare in an asymptomatic patient.

Who should be screened PAD?

Who Should Be Screened for PAD? According to American and international guidelines, people older than 50 years of age with a history of diabetes mellitus or smoking should have an ankle blood pressure test. In addition, anyone older than 65 years of age should undergo an ankle blood pressure test to evaluate for PAD.

What is the ABI insurance?

The ABI is the voice of the UK’s world leading insurance and long-term savings industry. We are a trade body representing more than 200 member companies. We do not regulate insurance companies or mediate in disputes with companies, and we cannot provide legal or financial advice.

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