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Ankle Brachial Pressure Index | Medical Tower Drugs

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  • Ankle Brachial Pressure Index

    The Ankle Brachial Pressure Index (ABPI), known more commonly as an ABI, is the ratio of the blood pressure in the lower legs to the blood pressure in the arms. Compared to the arm, lower blood pressure in the leg is an indication of blocked arteries (peripheral vascular disease). The ABI is calculated by dividing the systolic blood pressure at the ankle by the systolic blood pressures in the arm.


    Doppler ultrasound blood flow detector, commonly called Doppler Wand or Doppler probe, and a sphygmomanometer (blood pressure cuff) are usually needed. The blood pressure cuff is inflated proximal to the artery in question. Measured by the Doppler wand, the inflation continues until the pulse in the artery ceases. The blood pressure cuff is then slowly deflated. When the artery’s pulse is re-detected through the Doppler probe the pressure in the cuff at that moment indicates the systolic pressure of that artery.


    The higher systolic reading of the left and right arm brachial artery is generally used in the assessment. The pressures in each foot’s posterior tibial artery and dorsalis pedis artery are measured with the higher of the two values used as the ABI for that leg.


    ABPI_{Leg} = \frac { P_{Leg} }{ P_{Arm} }
    Where PLeg is the systolic blood pressure of dorsalis pedis or posterior tibial arteries and PArm is the highest of the left and right arm brachial systolic blood pressure


    The ABPI test is a popular tool for the non-invasive assessment of PVD. Studies have shown the sensitivity of ABPI is 90% with a corresponding 98% specificity for detecting hemodynamically significant (Serious) stenosis >50% in major leg arteries, defined by angiogram.