Ankle-brachial pressure index
It is also important to determine the ABPI in patients with leg ulcers. Venous ulcers are often treated with compression bandaging. Doing this in a patient with PAD could however be harmful as it would further restrict the blood supply to the foot. ABPIs should therefore always be measured in patients with leg ulcers.
- > 1.2: may indicate calcified, stiff arteries. This may be seen with advanced age or PAD
- 1.0 - 1.2: normal
- 0.9 - 1.0: acceptable
- < 0.9: likely PAD. Values < 0.5 indicate severe disease which should be referred urgently
The ABPI is a good test, values less than 0.90 have been shown to have a sensitivity of 90% and a specificity of 98%* for PAD.
Compression bandaging is generally considered acceptable if the ABPI >= 0.8.
*Yao ST, Hobbs JT, Irvine WT. Ankle systolic pressure measurements in arterial disease affecting the lower extremities. Br J Surg. Sep 1969;56(9):676-9.