LifeCare Diagnostic Medical Centre

01 September, 2022

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

A common condition in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to the arms or legs. The legs or arms (usually the legs), don’t receive enough blood flow to keep up with the demand, causing leg pain when walking and other symptoms. PAD also increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. 

Symptoms of PAD

Most people with PAD usually experience mild or no symptoms. Symptoms like leg pain, muscle pain, and cramps in the legs or arms during walks or at the beginning of any physical activity and end with rest (claudication). The pain is usually felt in the calf and ranges from mild to severe. If PAD worsens, pain may occur even during rest or lying down and cause interference during sleep.  

Other PAD symptoms may include:

Slower growth of toenails 

Hair loss or slower hair growth on the legs 

Sores on the toes, feet or legs that won’t heal 

Erectile dysfunction 

Erectile dysfunction 

Sores on the toes, feet or legs that won’t heal 

Causes of PAD

Causes of PAD

  • Atherosclerosis - buildup of fatty, cholesterol-containing deposits (plaques) on artery walls
  • Inflammation of the blood vessel
  • Arms or legs injury
  • Changes in muscles or ligaments
  • Radiation exposure
  • Risk Factors of PAD

    Risk Factors of PAD

  • Smoking or diabetic
  • A family history of PAD, heart disease or stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • High levels of an amino acid called homocysteine (increase the risk for coronary artery disease)
  • Increasing age (>65 or after 50 if you have risk factors for atherosclerosis)
  • Obesity (BMI over 30)
  • Diagnosis

    Apart from blood tests, ultrasound of legs or feet and angiography, one of the common tests used to diagnose PAD is the Ankle-brachial index (ABI). 

    Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI)

    A quick and non-invasive way to check for PAD. The test is painless and similar to having blood pressure taken in a routine medical visit. It compares the blood pressure in the ankle with the blood pressure in the arm.  

    During the procedure

    1. You will be asked to rest for 5 minutes before the test.
    2. You are required to lie on a table on your back. Our health personnel will place the inflatable cuffs on both of your arms and ankles. The cuffs will measure your blood pressure in both arms and ankles via the ABI machine.  

    After the procedure

    1. The ankle-brachial index test takes only about 5 minutes. No special precautions are needed afterward. Our Health Screening Doctor will discuss your test result with you. 

    Result – The blood pressure measurements from the arms and ankles are used to determine the ankle-brachial index. The index is a ratio of the two measurements.

    Reading & Description



    1.0 to 1.4

    No blockage. You probably don’t have PAD but if you have symptoms of PAD, you might have an exercise ankle-brachial index test.

    0.90 to 0.99

    Borderline blockage. Reading indicates borderline PAD. You might have an exercise ankle-brachial index test.

    less than 0.90

    Severe blockage (PAD) This range indicates a diagnosis of PAD. You might have more testing, such as ultrasound or angiography, to view the arteries in your legs.

    Health Screening Packages

    Get the Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) Test done with the purchase of selected premium health screening packages (Platinum and above only) listed below: