Your doctor may think you have PAD because of your symptoms and your health history. Other signs, such as a weak pulse in your legs, may be found during an exam.

PAD is often confirmed with an ankle-brachial index (ABI) test. Blood pressure is measured in arteries at the elbow and ankle. This is done with a blood pressure cuff and ultrasound. The readings are compared in a ratio. If the ratio is lower than it should be, it is a sign of a problem with blood flow in the legs. If you have an irregular ABI test, your doctor may order a treadmill test to check your ability to walk.


CT angiography (CTA). Radiological Society of North America Radiology Info website. Available at: Updated April 1, 2017. Accessed August 29, 2018.

Hills AJ, Shalhoub J, et al. Peripheral arterial disease. Br J Hosp Med (Lond). 2009;70(10):560-565.

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) of lower extremities. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: Updated August 23, 2018. Accessed August 29, 2018.

Symptoms and diagnosis of PAD. American Heart Association website. Available at: Updated October 31, 2016. Accessed August 29, 2018.

Last reviewed May 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD  Last Updated: 8/29/2018