PAD may be suspected based on symptoms, such as intermittent claudication, and your medical history. Other signs of PAD, such as weak pulses in the lower extremities, may be found during a physical exam.
PAD is often confirmed with an ankle-brachial index (ABI) test. Blood pressure is measured in arteries at the elbow and ankle with a blood pressure cuff and doppler ultrasound. The pressures are compared in a ratio. If the ratio is lower than expected, it indicates a problem with blood flow in the legs. If you have an irregular ABI test, your doctor may recommend a treadmill test to assess your walking ability and distance.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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How is peripheral artery disease diagnosed? National Heart Lung and Blood Institute website. Available at:
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http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/PeripheralArteryDisease/Symptoms-and-Diagnosis-of-PAD%5FUCM%5F301306%5FArticle.jsp. Updated August 16, 2012. Accessed June 23, 2014.