What do the ankle-brachial index (ABI) test results mean?

The ABI itself is the systolic blood pressure reading (top number) in your ankle divided by the systolic blood pressure reading in your arm. If your ABI is 0.9 or lower, you should make an appointment with a vascular medicine specialist.

  • An ABI ratio between 1.0 and 1.4 is normal.
  • An ABI ratio between 0.9 and 1.0 is borderline.
  • An ABI ratio of 0.9 or less means you have PAD.
  • An ABI ratio between 0.4 and 0.7 means you have moderate PAD.
  • An ABI ratio less than 0.4 means you have severe PAD.
  • An ABI ratio higher than 1.4 could mean the blood vessels in your limbs are stiff due to advanced age or diabetes.

What type of follow-up do I need after an ankle-brachial index (ABI) test?

Your doctor will talk to you about the follow-up care you need after your ABI test. In general:

  • You may need to have repeat ABI tests from time to time, especially if your ABI is outside of the normal range. Regular testing will help your doctor know if your PAD is getting worse. It can also be used to see how well treatments to open your blood vessels are working.
  • You will need to schedule regular appointments with your doctor if you have PAD.
  • Depending on your results, you may need other testing or treatments.

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