ANS/ABI Testing

Autonomic Nervous System Test (ANS)
Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) testing is a powerful diagnostic tool that can assess the communication from the brain to various organs such as the heart and vascular system, lungs, kidneys, stomach, liver, intestines and digestive system. These tests are performed to help establish the health of a person’s autonomic nervous system. The results will then give the doctor insight for recommendations on how to better maintain autonomic balance which can reduce the reduce complications of chronic disease and lower the risk of premature death.

The ANS is a simple, painless test that lasts anywhere from 7 – 15 minutes. During these few minutes, patients perform a series of actions while the ANS system monitors the body’s response. The system looks at changes in heart rate and blood pressure to calculate response as well as autonomic balance in both branches of the autonomic nervous system – the parasympathetic & sympathetic nervous systems.

Ankle-Brachial Index Test (ABI)
The Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) test is a quick, noninvasive way to check your risk of a peripheral artery disease (PAD). Peripheral artery disease is a condition in which the arteries in your legs or arms are narrowed or blocked. Those who suffer from a peripheral artery disease are at an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, poor circulation and leg pain.

Having an ABI test is painless and similar to getting your blood pressure taken during a routine visit to your doctor. The test is simply lying on a table on your back as a technician measures your blood pressure in both your arms and legs using a special inflatable cuff. As the technician measures, the blood pressure in the two arteries in both your ankles the doctor will press a hand-held Doppler ultrasound device on your skin. The Doppler device will use sound waves to produce images and let him/her hear your pulse in your ankle arteries after the cuff is deflated. The procedure for performing an ankle-brachial index test may vary slightly, based on your doctor’s preference.

The results of the ABI test are a comparison of your blood pressure measured at your ankles with your blood pressure measured at your arms. The result, for instance, could show a low ankle-brachial index number which indicates a narrowing or blockage of the arteries in your legs, increasing your risk of circulatory problems, and possibly causing heart disease or stroke.