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Clin Physiol Funct Imaging. 2008 Nov;28(6):426-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-097X.2008.00826.x. Epub 2008 Sep 16.

Oscillometric blood pressure measurement: a simple method in screening for peripheral arterial disease.

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Department of Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine, Frederiksberg Hospital, Frederiksberg, Denmark.


Blood pressure at the ankle level is a reliable indicator of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and the ankle brachial index (ABI) is a useful non-invasive screening tool for the early detection of atherosclerosis. In the first part of the study, systolic blood pressures obtained by oscillometry and plethysmography were compared in 80 subjects referred for possible vascular disease. In the second part of the study, 31 general practitioners enrolled 1258 consecutive patients aged more than 60 years. ABI was estimated by oscillometry. Patients with an ABI lower than 0.9 were referred to the local hospital for standardized measurements. In the first part, oscillometry showed a sensitivity of 97% and a specificity of 62% with a positive and negative predictive value of 71% and 96%, respectively. In the second part, significant PAD was found in 111 cases corresponding to a prevalence of 12.2%. In this population, the oscillometry showed a positive predictive value of 47%. The presence of PAD was significantly correlated to exercise related leg pain, a diagnosis of hypertension and smoking, whereas no correlation could be found with a diagnosis of heart disease, stroke, or with the presence of diabetes. The prevalence of PAD was sufficiently high in subjects over the age of 60 years to warrant screening. The ankle brachial index based on measurements with an oscillometric device was shown reliable in the exclusion of PAD, thereby fulfilling an important criterion for the use in screening.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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