dreamstime_xxl_13333005An ankle-brachial index is used to check for peripheral artery disease (PAD). The whole procedure is quick, painless, and non-invasive, lasting only about 30 to 60 minutes. PAD is a condition that causes blood flow to your limbs to be limited due to narrowed arteries. The number-one problem associated with PAD is that it can result in a heart attack.

How It Works

During an ankle-brachial index test, a technician will compare blood pressure measured at your arm with blood pressure measured at your ankle. If a low ankle-brachial index number is found, you may have narrowing or blocked arteries in the leg. The test can also be used to determine the severity of artery blockage while walking.

Test Results

When your doctor uses blood pressure measurements from the ankles and arms, your ankle-brachial index will be calculated. The following will be used to determine if issues are present:

  • No blockage (1.0 to 1.4) If your ankle-brachial is between 1.0 and 1.4, it’s unlikely that you have PAD.
  • Borderline Blockage (0.91 to 0.99) An ankle-brachial index between 0.91 and 0.99 indicates that minor blockage is present.
  • Blockage (under 0.90) An ankle-brachial index under 0.90 indicates that you have abnormal blockage and you’ll be diagnosed with PAD.