Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Peripheral Arterial Disease/ABI Screening

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is more commonly known as hardening of the arteries. Peripheral arterial disease screening is done by using the ankle-brachial index (ABI). This ABI 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 ABI 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.

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