Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a condition which causes restricted blood flow to the legs. The ABPI (Ankle Brachial Pressure Index) test is used to examine blood pressure difference between the arms and legs which can be an indicator of the condition.

Having PAD puts you at a high risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. Around 60% of people with peripheral artery disease will have ischaemic heart disease, and 30% have cerebrovascular disease so it’s important to know if you have it and how you can manage it. Your PAD check can help detect whether you have a build-up of plaque and fatty deposits in your arteries.

The test is painless and uses sensors attached to your arms and legs to detect the difference in blood pressure readings between your upper arm and lower ankle. This is known as your Ankle Brachial Pressure Index (ABPI).  You’ll also get a reading of your blood pressure.

PAD usually affects the legs – it can often lead to leg pain when walking and, in severe cases, ulcers, gangrene and amputation.  Most people with PAD won’t experience any symptoms at all, but some 60% of those with PAD will develop ischaemic heart disease. This test is only recommended for over 40’s.


1 Peripheral artery disease, BMJ, 2018 https://www.bmj.com/content/360/bmj.j5842.full

All our tests have been specially designed to be convenient and non-invasive. Once you’ve booked your appointment, full preparation instructions will be provided in your confirmation email or letter. You can continue to eat and drink normally before your appointment, and you’ll also remain fully clothed throughout.