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A Journal on Angiology

Official Journal of the International Union of Angiology, the International Union of Phlebology and the Central European Vascular Forum
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Original articles  

International Angiology 2007 September;26(3):239-44


language: English

The ankle-brachial pressure index and a standardized questionnaire are easy and useful tools to detect peripheral arterial disease in non- claudicating patients at high risk

Sprynger M. 1, Fassotte C. 2, Verhaeghe R. 3

1 University Hospital Center of Liège, Liège, Belgium 2 Medical Department, Sanofi-Aventis, Diegem, Brabant, Belgium 3 Catholic University of Leuven (KUL), Leuven, Belgium


Aim. This observational study (Survey of Peripheral Arterial Disease Epidemiology, SPADE) evaluated the prevalence of asymptomatic peripheral arterial disease (PAD) in general practice.
Methods. PAD was determined as an ankle-brachial pressure index (ABI) <0.9 measured with Doppler ultrasound. Included patients had a history of ischemic events and/or risk factors for PAD, but no spontaneous complaints of intermittent claudication. Patients with an ABI <0.9 filled in a standardized questionnaire and their drug use was registered. A total of 4 536 patients was included.
Results. The prevalence of PAD was 18.7% for the total population, 26.5% for those with a history of ischemic events and 15.2% for those without such history. The prevalence increased with age, but was independent of gender. A standard questionnaire revealed leg pain when walking uphill or when hurrying in 2/3 of patients with an ABI <0.9 and in 45% criteria for claudication were met.
Conclusion. ABI detects PAD in a considerable number of asymptomatic patients at increased risk and followed in general practice. When properly questioned almost half of these patients appear to have intermittent claudication.

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