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Doppler Examination

A Doppler Ultrasound is a vascular assessment tool that is able to be used to not only assess the blood supply to your feet, but can also be used to analyse if you may be at risk of ulcerations, a candidate for compression therapy in the treatment of oedema or if you require a referral to a vascular specialist.

During a Doppler examination, our podiatrists use our state of the art vascular Doppler Ultrasound equipment that is painless, non-invasive and emits a high frequency acoustic sound to study the pulses and blood flow in the smaller blood vessels of your feet. Our Doppler Ultrasound equipment is used to perform ankle and toe brachial pressure index readings.

If you have diabetes, vascular disease or at risk of vascular disease that could possibly effect the circulation of your feet, you should consider having a Doppler Examination once yearly

Ankle Brachial Pressure Index

The ankle brachial pressure index (ABPI) test is a non-invasive assessment to check the risk of lower extremity peripheral artery disease. Peripheral artery disease is a condition in which the arteries in the legs are narrowed or blocked. People with peripheral artery disease are at an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, poor circulation and leg pain.

ABPI is also used to assess the safety of compression treatment when considering compression hosiery and bandaging for patients with venous disease or ulceration as the patient may not have adequate circulation to accommodate the compression therapy which may result in a tourniquet effect leading to ischaemia.

The ABPI test compares your blood pressure measured at your ankle with your blood pressure measured at your arm.

The ABPI is performed using our Doppler Ultrasound equipment and a standard sphygmomanometer. The systolic blood pressure from both brachial (arm) arteries and from both the dorsalis pedis and posterior tibial arteries in both feet are measured. The foot systolic pressure is then divided by the brachial systolic pressure to give the ankle brachial pressure index number.

A low ankle brachial pressure index number can indicate narrowing or blockage of the arteries in your legs, increasing your risk of circulatory problems, ulcerations, gangrene and possibly causing heart disease or stroke.

Toe Brachial Pressure Index

A Toe Brachial Pressure Index (TBPI) is performed when the Ankle Brachial Pressure Index is abnormally high due to plaque and calcification of the arteries in the leg rendering the artery non-compressible; this is caused by atherosclerosis and is most often found in diabetic patients which gives falsely high ankle pressures.

The great toe blood pressures are assessed by using an infrared photoplethysmography sensor on the toe and a toe cuff to determine the small vessel vascular condition distal to the ankle. A standard sphygmomanometer is used to pressure the systolic blood pressure from both brachial (arm) arteries.

The great toe blood pressure is then divided by the brachial systolic pressure to give the toe brachial pressure index number.

A high toe brachial pressure index number can indicate narrowing or blockage of the arteries in your legs, increasing your risk of circulatory problems, ulcerations, gangrene and possibly causing heart disease or stroke.

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