Ankle Brachial Index

ALSO CALLED: ABIs, Segmental Pressure Test, Toe Pressure Test, Toe Brachial Index, or TBIs

What is it?

A non-invasive test that uses inflatable cuffs to gauge circulation (blood flow) and measure blood pressure in the arteries at various locations on the thigh, calf, foot and toes. It is normally done in an outpatient clinic or vascular laboratory. 

What to expect during the test?

Blood pressure cuffs of various sizes are placed on your thigh, calf, foot and toes, similar to having your blood pressure checked with an arm cuff. As the technician inflates the cuffs, they progressively tighten and are then quickly released. You may feel some mild discomfort, but generally for less than 60 seconds for each measurement.

Are there any risks or side effects?

Aside from the momentary discomfort described above, side effects or complications are very rare.

What should I do to prepare?

•  Wear clothing that will allow access to your thigh, calf, ankle and foot.

•  If you have a wound or ulcer anywhere on your leg or foot, bring extra dressing supplies to dress the area after testing is completed.  Dressings that cover wounds sometimes need to be partially or completely removed.

•  Let the vascular laboratory technician know if you have had any previous bypass operations, stents, or angioplasty for leg circulation.

What can I expect after the test?

•  You can resume your normal activities after testing is complete.

•  The technician performing the test may be able to tell how your results compare to normal.

•  Discuss with your vascular surgeon whether you need further testing or treatment.

The information contained on is sourced from the Society for Vascular Surgery at It is purely informational, and is not intended, nor should it be relied upon, as a substitute for the advice or treatment of a trained medical professional. Individuals with specific medical problems or questions must consult with their doctor or other health care professional.


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