The Ankle Brachial Index (ABI) is a simple, reliable means for diagnosing peripheral arterial disease (PAD.) Blood pressure measurements are taken at the arms and ankles using a pencil shaped ultrasound device called a Doppler. A Doppler instrument produces sound waves (not x-rays) and is considered noninvasive because it does not require the use of needles or catheters. The ABI test is reliable and inexpensive.
Your doctor may recommend an ABI if you experience leg pain while walking or exercising. It will help diagnose if you have any blockages of your leg arteries. An abnormal ABI also places one at increased risk for heart attack or stroke.