What you can expect

By Mayo Clinic Staff

During the test

You lie on a table on your back, and a technician measures your blood pressure in both your arms using an inflatable cuff. Then, the technician measures the blood pressure in two arteries in both your ankles using the inflatable cuff and a hand-held Doppler ultrasound device that your doctor will press on your skin.

The Doppler device uses sound waves to produce images and lets your doctor hear your pulse in your ankle arteries after the cuff is deflated. The procedure for performing an ankle-brachial index test may vary slightly, based on your doctor's preference.

Having an ankle-brachial index test is painless and similar to getting your blood pressure taken in a routine visit to your doctor. You may feel some pressure on your arm or ankle when the cuff inflates to read your blood pressure.

After the test

The ankle-brachial index test should take only a few minutes, and there are no special precautions you'll need to take following the test. Your doctor will discuss your test result with you.

Aug. 22, 2015