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.
How can peripheral arterial disease be prevented? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/pad/prevention.html. Updated June 2, 2014. Accessed June 23, 2014.
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) of lower extremities. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated June 13, 2014. Accessed June 23, 2014.
Prevention and treatment of PAD. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/PeripheralArteryDisease/Prevention-and-Treatment-of-PAD%5FUCM%5F301308%5FArticle.jsp. Updated February 26, 2014. Accessed June 23, 2014.
- Reviewer: Michael J. Fucci, DO, FACC
- Review Date: 05/2015 -
- Update Date: 05/20/2015 -
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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