Cardiac Question #49


The nurse is caring for a client with complaints of claudication. An ankle-brachial index (ABI) is ordered and the client asks what the test measures and why it is important. Which statement by the nurse best describes the ABI?


  1. “The ankle-brachial index is a noninvasive procedure to check your risk of peripheral artery disease.”
    • Rationale:
  2. “The ankle-brachial index produces a ratio of SBP with retrograde wave reflection from resistant distal arterioles.”
    • Rationale:
  3. “The test is a physician ordered exam, but nothing compares to old fashion palpation of your pulses.”
    • Rationale:
  4. “The test is no big deal. Don’t worry about anything as results can be misleading.”
    • Rationale:



The best explanation for the client is that ABI is noninvasive and is used to check risk of PAD. The second response utilizes medical terminology which is not the best choice in providing instruction to clients. Response C is incorrect and may hinder the nurse/physician/client relationship since the nurse may disagree with the need for the ordered procedure. The nurse should never respond with statements of false reassurance and doubt as depicted in answer D.

Learning Outcomes

Test Taking Tip

Video Rationale