What is PAD?
Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) occurs when there is a buildup of cholesterol and plaque in the arteries of the lower extremities, causing decreased blood flow to the legs and feet.
About arterial testing
Arterial testing with the non-invasive BioMedix® system can provide early detection of PAD when treatment options are broadest (including lifestyle changes as well as non-invasive and invasive therapeutic options). The system detects blockages in arteries and the quality of blood flow using Pulse Volume Recordings and segmental blood pressure measurements.
Blood pressures are recorded at the arms and ankles. The Ankle-Brachia! Index (ABI) is determined by the ratio between these pressures. An ankle pressure that is 99% or lower than the arm pressure may be indicative of PAD. With severe narrowing, the ABI may be less than 50%.
Before your test
For this test, you will be asked to remove clothing that covers your arms and legs, keeping your undergarments on. You may be asked to remove your shoes and socks as well. A gown may be provided, or you may bring shorts and a short-sleeved shirt to wear. This test usually takes 15 to 20 minutes. Be sure to allow extra time to check in.
Do not smoke or use tobacco 30 minutes prior to your PAD exam. Smoking constricts the peripheral arteries and can interfere with the exam.
If you think you may not be able to tolerate lying flat on the exam table for the test, please share this with your care provider.
During your test
You will lie down on the exam table. Pressure cuffs will be wrapped snugly around your arms, above knees, calves and ankles. The technician will inflate the cuffs, and sensors in the machine will record the pulse volume waveforms that correspond to each beat of your heart.
You may be asked to exercise until symptoms are induced. After exercise, you will lie down on the exam table for additional arm and ankle tests.
After your test
You may return to your normal routine right after the test. Your care provider will let you know when the results are ready.
If your results appear to be abnormal, your care provider may recommend additional diagnostic tests.
Are you at risk?
Groups at risk for PAD
- Men and women ages 65 years or older
- Patients 50 years or older with a history of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or smoking
Signs and symptoms
- Discomfort in the legs brought on by walking and relieved with rest
- Discomfort in the legs at rest due to poor circulation
- A poorly healing wound on lower
- Injury to lower limb or foot involving blood vessels
- Discoloration of toes and feet
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