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01-12-2016 | Research | Uitgave 1/2016 Open Access

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research 1/2016

A targeted screening method for non-invasive vascular assessment of the lower limb

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research > Uitgave 1/2016
Peta Ellen Tehan, Vivienne Helaine Chuter



Podiatrists routinely perform non-invasive lower limb vascular assessment, however frequently cite time as a major barrier in performing regular assessment. The aim of this study was to develop an evidence-based vascular assessment method to guide podiatrists’ decision-making processes to aid in timely vascular assessment in at risk populations.


The sample underwent brachial pressure measurement, ankle pressures, toe pressure and Doppler waveform with colour duplex ultrasound (CFDU) used as the reference standard. Both the targeted screening method and the American Heart Association (AHA) guideline for vascular screening were then applied to the data set and sensitivity and specificity of each method was calculated.


One hundred nineteen participants were included. Sensitivity of the targeted screening method (62%, 95% CI 47.17–75.35) was higher than the AHA method (49%, 95% CI 34.75–63.40), however, specificity of the AHA method (94%, 95% CI 85.62–98.37) was higher than the targeted screening method (85%, 95% CI 74.26–92.60). Diagnostic accuracy was similar with the AHA method yielding 74% diagnostic accuracy and the targeted screening method 73%.


The targeted screening method and the broad international guideline demonstrated similar accuracy, however clinicians may save time using the targeted screening method. This study highlights the difficulties in obtaining accuracy in lower limb vascular assessment in general.

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