How is PAD diagnosed?
The first step is to talk with your health care provider about your risk for PAD. Your provider will take your medical and family history, perform a physical exam, and conduct diagnostic tests.
Diagnostic Tests: When checking you for PAD, your health care provider may perform a simple noninvasive test called an ankle-brachial index (ABI). Painless and easy, the ABI compares the blood pressure readings in your ankles with the blood pressure readings in your arms. An ABI can help determine whether you have PAD, but it cannot identify which arteries are narrowed or blocked. Your health care provider may obtain additional imaging studies such as Doppler ultrasound to determine specific sites of arterial blockage. Your health care provider may also perform blood tests to see if you have diabetes and check your cholesterol levels. Other tests are also used to help diagnose PAD. Talk with your health care provider for more information.