Ankle brachial index (ABI) has been utilized in the management of peripheral arterial disease (PAD).ABI is a surrogate marker of atherosclerosis and recent studies indicate its utility as a predictor of future cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality. Even so, this critical test is underutilized. The purpose of this review is to summarize available evidence associated with ABI methodology variances, ABI usage in the treatment of PAD, and ABI efficacy in predicting cardiovascular disease. This review further evaluates how ABI is used in the prognosis and follow-up of lower extremity arterial disease.We reviewed the most current American College of Cardiology guidelines for the management of PAD, the Trans Atlantic Intersociety Consensus (TASC) working group recommendations, and searched the Medline for the following words: ankle brachial index, ABI sensitivity and specificity, and peripheral arterial disease. The ABI is a simple, noninvasive clinical test that should not only be applied to diagnose PAD, but also to provide important prognostic information about future cardiovascular events. Although the ABI has been employed in clinical practice for some time, our review of various studies reveals a lack of standardization regarding both the method of measuring ABI and the cutoff point for abnormal ABI. It is extremely important that we understand all aspects of this crucial test, as it is now being recommended as part of a patients routine health risk assessment.
Keywords: Peripheral arterial disease, Ankle Brachial index, ABI Sensitivity and Specificity, Atherosclerosis, Cardiovascular morbidity and mortality
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