Peripheral Artery Disease Screening
Peripheral artery disease is a narrowing and hardening of the arteries in the leg that is caused by a build up of plaque within the walls of the arteries. This condition can restrict blood flow and cause pain for patients, and may eventually lead to gangrene, stroke or heart attack. Most people with peripheral artery disease do not experience any symptoms and may be completely unaware that they have this condition.
Patients can be screened for this condition through a painless test called the Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI), which places blood pressure cuffs on the arms and ankles, and then measures the difference between blood pressure in the two locations. This difference is converted into a ratio that can identify if a patient is at an increased risk for peripheral artery disease.
Results are often available immediately after the ankle brachial index test; your doctor will discuss the results with you at this point. If peripheral artery disease has been detected, your doctor will develop a customized treatment plan to prevent your condition from worsening. Even if the results show no signs of peripheral artery disease, regular ankle brachial index testing may be required if you are at risk of developing peripheral artery disease.