Thursday, May 7, 2009

Screening for peripheral arterial disease


We screen for peripheral arterial disease (PAD), more commonly known as hardening of the arteries, by using the ankle-brachial index (ABI). This screening is painless, quick, and non-invasive. It will identify most cases of peripheral arterial disease.

What you can learn
The ankle-brachial index measures the ratio between the pressure in your arms and that in your legs. This ratio indicates how well blood flows to the legs. A ratio of less than 0.90 indicates plaque buildup and possible peripheral arterial disease. A ratio of 0.90 or greater is considered normal.

The screening is simple and painless. After removing your socks and shoes, you will have pressure cuffs placed around your upper arms and ankles. A small ultrasound device will then measure the systolic blood pressures in your limbs.

Who should have peripheral arterial disease screening
Anyone who has risk factors for PAD should have this screening. Are you at risk? Find out.

How often to get screened
This is a personal decision based on your risk factors and previous screening results. Many of our customers have an annual screening as part of their regular healthcare regimen.

How to prepare

Wear a short-sleeved shirt or blouse.

Do not wear pantyhose.

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