Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Vasc Med. 2010 Oct;15(5):361-9. doi: 10.1177/1358863X10378376.

Sensitivity and specificity of the ankle--brachial index to diagnose peripheral artery disease: a structured review.

Author information

  • 1Heart, Lung and Blood Vessel Center, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.


The ankle-brachial index (ABI) is a simple, inexpensive diagnostic test for peripheral artery disease (PAD). However, it has shown variable accuracy for identification of significant stenosis. The authors performed a structured review of the sensitivity and specificity of ABI ≤ 0.90 for the diagnosis of PAD. MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane databases, Science Citation Index database, and Biological Abstracts database were searched for studies of the sensitivity and specificity of using ABI ≤ 0.90 for the diagnosis of PAD. Eight studies comprising 2043 patients (or limbs) met the inclusion criteria. The result indicated that, although strict inclusion criteria on studies were formulated, different reference standards were found in these studies, and methods of ABI determination and characteristics of populations varied greatly. A high level of specificity (83.3-99.0%) and accuracy (72.1-89.2%) was reported for an ABI ≤ 0.90 in detecting ≥ 50% stenosis, but there were different levels of sensitivity (15-79%). Sensitivity was low, especially in elderly individuals and patients with diabetes. In conclusion, the test of ABI ≤ 0.90 can be a simple and useful tool to identify PAD with serious stenosis, and may be substituted for other non-invasive tests in clinical practice.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Health
    Loading ...
    Support Center