Date issued: November 2019
For review: November 2021
Ref: B-431/AE/Vascular/Ankle brachial pressure index
This leaflet provides information about your forthcoming appointment so that you know exactly what to expect.
Ankle Brachial Pressure Index (ABPI)
This is a method of assessing the blood supply to your feet by comparing the blood pressure at your ankles to the blood pressure in your arms. You will be asked to remove your shoes and socks and any long sleeved tops so that we can place a blood pressure cuff around your upper arms and also around your ankles.
You will be asked to lie down relatively flat on a couch and rest for a few minutes. Some gel will be placed on your skin and a small device called a Doppler probe will be held on the surface of the skin to detect your pulse. The blood pressure cuff will be inflated so that the blood pressure can be measured.
This may be mildly uncomfortable.
Treadmill Exercise Test:
This test combines the ankle brachial pressure index with a treadmill test. The ABPI is performed before and after you walk on a treadmill.
If you have atherosclerosis of your leg arteries, there is likely to be a lower blood pressure in your feet after the exercise.
This is a good test to confirm the diagnosis of arterial disease and to assess its severity. You will only be expected to walk at a pace you are comfortable with on the treadmill, usually for about 3 minutes but it can be stopped sooner if required.
Please let us know before attending for the test if you think you will be unable to go on the treadmill. Please also bring any medicines that you may require when you exercise (i.e. inhalers or angina medication)
What happens next?
The Vascular Scientist will write a report on the test results and send it on to the doctor who requested the scan. The Vascular Scientist can comment on the scan findings with you but you will be able to discuss the results more fully with your Consultant at your next outpatient appointment.
Any further questions?
Please phone the Vascular Assessment Unit on 01752 439228 if you have any questions that you want answered before attending for the scan or if there is anything that you think we should know about before your scan. The Vascular Scientist who does your scan will also be happy to answer any further questions that you have.