Ankle Brachial Index Doppler (ABI)

The Ankle Brachial Index, or ABI, is the ratio between the blood pressure in the lower legs and the blood pressure in the arms.

Lower blood pressure in the legs is an indication of blocked arteries, known as peripheral vascular disease, and a reliable marker for any vascular diseases such as congestive heart failure, heart attack or stroke.

To determine a patient’s ABI a Doppler Study is performed. The patient will lie flat on an exam table and blood pressure cuffs applied to all four limbs. The blood pressure will be taken and then the ratio between the blood pressures in the legs and arms determined. The test is non-invasive and takes only a few minutes.

Doppler studies for Ankle Brachial Index are used on patients with the symptoms of peripheral vascular disease or who are at risk for developing it. Patients unable to lie flat for the duration of the test, have trauma to a limb or diabetic foot, are obese or have a medical condition such as aortic aneurysm are not candidates for having the study done.

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