How A Podiatrist Can Utilize Smart ABI to Help Test for PAD (Peripheral Arterial Disease)
Peripheral Arterial Disease, often known as PAD, can lead to difficulty when walking, pain in the extremities, slower healing, and even the loss of a limb at times. We use Smart ABI in order to test and properly diagnose patients who could be at risk for Peripheral Arterial Disease.
Right now, the American Heart Association requests that all patients who could be at risk for PAD should be tested. The Smart ABI enables a short test that measures a patient’s Ankle Brachial Index or ABI. It also measures blood pressure in the ankle area, body mass index, and blood pressure in general.
Smart ABI is an extremely common and successful test used to diagnose peripheral arterial disease. It works by comparing the blood pressure in your arm with the blood pressure in your ankle Your doctor will use a normal blood pressure cuff as well as a special ultrasound device to evaluate blood flow and pressure to get a blood pressure reading.
Before and immediately after you may have readings taken as you walk on a treadmill. This is done to capture the severity of the narrowed arteries during walking.
Smart ABI Can Help Patients at Risk Avoid Future Surgeries and Amputations
Peripheral Arterial Disease is often caused by atherosclerosis. With atherosclerosis, fatty deposits build up on your artery walls. This means that your blood flow is reduced.
Although atherosclerosis usually focuses on the heart, it can, and usually will affect other arteries throughout your body. It causes peripheral artery disease when it occurs in the arteries supplying blood to your limbs. While not as common, the cause of peripheral arterial disease can be caused by bloody vessel inflammation, unusual anatomy of your muscles or ligaments, or injury to your limbs.
Radiation exposure can also be a cause. If your PAD is caused by a buildup of plaque in your blood vessels, you could also be at risk of developing:
- Critical Limb Ischemia- Often, this condition will begin as open sores that aren’t healing, an infection of your feet or legs, or an injury. It occurs when the infections or injuries progress and cause tissue death, this can sometimes require amputation of the limb affected.
- Stroke and Heart Attack- Atherosclerosis can cause all of the signs and symptoms of peripheral arterial disease and isn’t limited to your legs. Fat deposits can build up in arteries and supply blood to your brain and heart.
Smart ABI can help patients at risk avoid future surgeries and any amputations.