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Screening for Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)
- Blood pressure measurements
- Blood tests to measure cholesterol and glucose levels
- Body weight checks, such as checking your body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference
- Questions about your lifestyle habits, such as eating, smoking, and exercise
- Visual inspection —Your doctor should look carefully at the skin of all of your limbs during regular check-ups. Changes in skin texture and/or color, the presence of ulcerations or nonhealing wounds may indicate PAD.
- Pulses —Your doctor can listen and feel for pulses in your feet and groin. Bruits, abnormal sounds in the arteries heard with a stethoscope, and weak pulses, are signs of possible PAD.
- Ankle-brachial index (ABI) —To determine the ABI, your doctor takes pressures in both arms and ankles using a blood pressure cuff and a simple device to detect blood flow called a Doppler. The blood pressure readings are then used to calculate your ABI. A value less than or equal to 0.9 signals PAD.
- Reviewer: Michael J. Fucci, DO, FACC
- Review Date: 06/2016
- Update Date: 05/20/2015