Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Ankle Brachial Pressure Index (ABPI)

  • ABPI measurement offers valuable information as a screening tool for lower extremity peripheral arterial disease.
  • ABPI may also offer prognostic data that are useful to predict limb survival, wound healing and patient survival.
  • The use of ABPI measurement for diagnosis is generally outside of the scope of nursing practice. Furthermore, only those practitioners with the appropriate knowledge, skill and judgement to perform this measurement should do so.
  • Doppler ultrasound measurement of ABPI should be repeated when:
    •  a leg ulcer deteriorates
    •  an ulcer is not fully healed within three months
    •  clients present with recurrence (of whichever leg)
    •  there is a sudden increase in pain
    •  colour and/or temperature of foot changes
  • All ulcers should be screened for arterial disease using Doppler ultrasound to determine the Ankle Brachial Pressure Index (ABPI). A single measure of ABPI < 0.8 makes the presence of peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAOD) highly likely.
Clinical Management
Assessment and Management of Venous Leg Ulcers
Point of Care Resources