Check arterial health with ABI


The ABI test (Ankle Brachial Index) assesses arterial health by measuring blood flow capacity. It helps diagnose the risk of peripheral arterial disease, a condition resulting from the buildup of high levels of fat, sugar, and heavy metals in the blood. These substances, along with plaque formation, lead to inflammation and thickening of artery walls, narrowing the blood flow path. This affects blood flow to various organs of the body.

What is ABI?

ABI is an abbreviation for Ankle-Brachial Index. It is a method of assessing red blood cell health. It involves measuring blood pressure at the ankles and arms using sensors placed on all four limbs, and the resulting values form an index. Normally, blood circulation in the arms and legs should be balanced. If there are abnormalities in the arteries, the ABI test results may fall outside the normal range calculated by the device

Examining arterial health with ABI

Arterial health with ABI can be assessed by the age of arteries compared to their actual age. It also indicates the stiffness of the arteries or baPWV (cm/s). In each age group, there will be arterial stiffness values. They vary as shown in the picture below. In addition, the ABI test also assesses the risk of high blood pressure and high blood fat, evaluating heart disease and ischemic stroke


Checking the health of your arteries with ABI

The ABI test can indicate Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), which affects blood circulation to the arms and legs, potentially signaling the presence of fat accumulation, toxic heavy metals, and plaque buildup in the blood vessels.

Those experiencing frequent leg or calf pain while walking may be at risk for this condition because organs may not receive adequate blood supply. It’s advisable to consult a doctor for a precise diagnosis and treatment, which may involve an ABI test to pinpoint the cause.

ABI Test Procedure

Here is the ABI test procedure:


  • During the ABI test procedure, You will be asked to lie flat on the examination table.
  • The healthcare professional will use an ultrasound probe to listen to the blood flow in the arteries.
  • Pneumatic cuffs will be placed on your upper arms and your ankles. 
  • The cuffs on your arms and ankles will be inflated, slowly raising pressure until blood flow stops. This procedure is repeated multiple times to ensure precise measurements.
  • The healthcare professional will record your blood pressure and then calculate your ABI.

ABI ≤ 0.90             Indicates a risk of Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD).

0.91 ≤ ABI ≤ 1.40        Normal range.

1.40 < ABI           Indicates arterial compression difficulty due to stiffened blood vessels.

ABI testing for arterial health is easy, convenient, rapid, and provides highly accurate results for diagnosing Peripheral Arterial Disease.  

  • sensitivity                 90%
  • specificity                 98%

How to prepare for an ABI Test

  • Wear comfortable clothes
  • Avoid smoking
  • Avoid caffeine

Benefits of ABI testing for arterial health:

  • Assessing blockages and flexibility of the arteries
  • Diagnosing Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)
  • Assessing the risk of future heart and vascular diseases
  • Monitoring treatment progress

People who should undergo ABI testing for arterial health:

  • Individuals aged 40 and above
  • Those experiencing leg pain, cramping, or numbness while walking or performing activities (symptoms of peripheral artery disease)
  • Patients with heart disease or cerebrovascular disease
  • Patients with diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure, at risk for peripheral artery disease
  • Individuals who are overweight or obese
  • Those with elevated levels of substances in the blood, such as heavy metals, homocysteine, cholesterol, and triglycerides
  • Regular smokers or heavy alcohol drinkers for more than 10 years
  • Those with a family history or genetic predisposition to heart and vascular diseases