An ankle-brachial index is a simple and non-invasive test performed to diagnose peripheral vascular disease. The index compares the blood pressure of the legs and arms and creates a ratio that shows the availability of blood to flow freely from one extremity to the other. The ABI is calculated by dividing the systolic blood pressure at the ankle by the systolic blood pressure in the arm.
During this test, patients lie on their back and a technician places blood pressure cuffs on the ankles and arms. The machine then inflates the cuffs alternating to get the ratio. This test may include exercise by walking on a treadmill for several minutes in order to simulate when a patient would feel pain due to peripheral artery disease and then takes the reading afterward to understand the severity of the said disease.
Claudication, also referred to as intermittent claudication, is pain caused by reduced blood flow to the lower extremities. Claudication is a symptom of the disease called Peripheral artery or peripheral vascular disease (PAD or PVD) rather than a disease itself.
Claudication can cause:
Pain in calves, thighs, feet, or other parts of the lower extremities
Atherosclerosis – is a disease process that leads to the hardening or clogging of arteries. The build-up over time of substances such as fat, cholesterol, & calcium, collectively called plaque, narrows the artery and restricts the amount of blood able to pass through the arteries, and provides oxygen-rich blood to the body. This stenosis or narrowing of the artery can lead to serious problems such as stroke, amputation, heart attack, and death.
Introduced by Western Vascular Institute over 20 years ago, limb salvage of the leg, foot, & ankle is a term used to describe the type of procedure that our wound & Vascular board-certified surgeons are able to provide to save a patients leg from amputation due to peripheral artery disease, diabetes & many other conditions.
In this procedure, our surgeons, because of their unparalleled training & skill level, are able to open arteries through endovascular catheters all the way down to the toes. This allows for blood flow to reach all the way to the tips of the toes, which helps patients improve their mobility & ability to heal wounds as well as saving or “salvaging” their limbs from amputation.
September is Peripheral vascular disease awareness month. PVD or PAD / Peripheral Arterial Disease is a chronic disease where plaque gradually builds up in the arteries leading to limited blood flow or entirely block the flow of blood also called an occlusion.
This Plaque that builds up in your arteries and veins is a waxy fatty substance caused by high levels of cholesterol and worsened by smoking. The plaque builds up on the arterial or vessel wall as it passes through the vessels along with the blood and can lead to the hardening or atherosclerosis of the arteries and eventual occlusion. Peripheral arterial disease is a very common disease affecting 1 in 20 Americans over the age of 50.