Ankle Brachial Pressure Index (ABPI): An update for practitioners
Mo Al-Qaisi1, David M Nott1, David H King2, Sam Kaddoura1
1Imperial College, London, UK; 2Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford, Essex, UK
Abstract: Peripheral vascular disease affects some 12%–14% of the general population, and the majority of people with the disease are asymptomatic. The Ankle Brachial Pressure Index (ABPI) test is widely used by a diverse range of practitioners (in the community and hospital setting) in order to screen asymptomatic patients, diagnose patients with clinical symptoms, and to monitor patients who have had radiological or surgical intervention. This paper explains the theoretical basis of the ABPI test, as well as the relevance of the common modifications of the test. It explores the background to the quoted normal ranges for the ABPI test. It reviews the large body of literature that has developed on the association between ABPI and cardiovascular risk, as well as ABPI as a predictor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, highlighting the evidence that can inform practice. The review looks critically at the limitations of the ABPI test, providing practitioners with an evidence-based update on the importance and challenges of standardizing ABPI methodology. This paper highlights the influence of the key technical aspects of the ABPI test that all practitioners need to consider in order to be able to make more reliable and informed management decisions based on ABPI findings.
Keywords: ankle, brachial, pressure, index, ABPI, update
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