The ankle-brachial index test is done to check for peripheral artery disease (PAD), a condition in which the arteries in your legs or arms are narrowed.
Ask your doctor if you should have this test if you are age 50 or older and have any of these risk factors for PAD:
- Being a current or former smoker
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
If you've already been diagnosed with PAD, your doctor may recommend having an ankle-brachial index test to see if your treatment is working or if your condition has worsened.
If you have symptoms of PAD, your doctor may suggest you have an exercise ankle-brachial index test to determine if your symptoms, such as leg pain with walking, are due to PAD or other conditions, such as spinal stenosis. In an exercise ankle-brachial index test, you walk on a treadmill for a short time before your ankle-brachial index is measured.
Aug. 22, 2015
- What is peripheral arterial disease? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/pad/#. Accessed July 23, 2015.
- Mohler ER, et al. Noninvasive diagnosis of arterial disease. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 22, 2015.
- AskMayoExpert. How are the results of ankle-brachial index testing classified at Mayo Clinic? Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2015.
- Conte MS, et al. Society for Vascular Surgery practice guidelines for atherosclerotic occlusive disease of the lower extremities: Management of asymptomatic disease and claudication. Journal of Vascular Surgery. 2015;61:2S.
- Ankle brachial index: Quick reference guide for clinicians. Journal of Wound Ostomy and Continence Nursing. 2012;39:S21.
- Litin SC (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 24, 2015.
- Mankad R (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 7, 2015.