Vascular Specialists Tyler Texas
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Non-Invasive Peripheral Arterial Evaluation: ABI

Ankle brachial index (ABI)

An ABI is performed by measuring blood pressures at a single level.  Arterial pressures in the lower extremities at the ankle and toes are compared to the pressures measured in the arms. This is reported as a ratio and used as an indicator for PAD (Peripheral Arterial Disease).

What is PAD (peripheral arterial disease)?

PAD is a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to your limbs. When you develop peripheral artery disease, your extremities, usually your legs, don't receive enough blood flow to keep up with demand. This causes symptoms, most notably leg pain when walking.

What are the indications or symptoms for a peripheral arterial evaluation?

While many people with peripheral artery disease have mild or no symptoms, some people have leg pain when walking (intermittent claudication). Intermittent claudication symptoms include muscle pain or cramping in your legs or arms that's triggered by activity, such as walking, but disappears after a few minutes of rest. The location of the pain depends on the location of the clogged or narrowed artery. Calf pain is most common.  The severity of intermittent claudication varies widely, from mild discomfort to debilitating pain. Severe intermittent claudication can make it hard for you to walk or do other types of physical activity. 

  • Leg numbness or weakness
  • Coldness in your lower leg or foot, especially when compared with the other leg
  • Sores on your toes, feet or legs that won't heal
  • A change in the color of your legs
  • Hair loss or slower hair growth on your feet and legs
  • Slower growth of your toenails
  • No pulse or a weak pulse in your legs or feet

What can I expect during the exam?

A complete examination of both extremities takes approximately 20 minutes.  It is performed in a darkened room lying on an exam table. A technologist will place pressure cuffs on the arms, legs, and toes to perform the blood pressures of the extremities.

Patient Instructions

  • Allow 20 minutes for a complete study.
  • No smoking for at least an hour before the test.
  • You will remove your socks & shoes.


Please call us with questions or to schedule an appointment.

Vascular Specialists of East Texas