Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a common condition which restricts 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 1 so it’s important to understand if you have it and how you can treat 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 simple sensors attached to your arms and legs to detect the 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, gangrene and even amputation. Most people with PAD won’t experience any symptoms at all, but some 60% of those with PAD will develop ischaemic heart disease. At the minimum, I recommend undertaking a PAD test together with an ECG heart rhythm check to give you a fuller picture of your cardiovascular health and risk of stroke.
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.