Ankle-Brachial Index Testing (ABI)

Amelia Heart & Vascular Center is a respected leader in vascular medicine serving the Northern Virginia area.

ankle branchial test

What is the purpose of the ABI test?

The ankle-brachial index testing is a noninvasive test to check for peripheral artery disease (PAD). PAD is when blood flow is reduced to limbs due to narrowed arteries, often caused by smoking or coronary artery disease. PAD can cause leg pain, cramping, foot ulcers, and can increase one’s risk of heart attack and stroke.

How does the ABI test work?

A trained vascular technician will measure your blood pressure in both arms and ankles and utilize an ultrasound probe on your skin. The ultrasound machine will show images that determine whether there are blockages present that decrease blood flow to the limbs.

What do the results mean?

The results will depend on the severity of blockages in the arteries. If one has borderline blockage, it may only require lifestyle changes and medication therapy. If the blockage is severe, surgery may be necessary to treat PAD.