Indexed on: 22 Aug '13Published on: 22 Aug '13Published in: Journal of the American Heart Association Cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular Disease
Systolic ankle pressures are routinely measured as part of an ankle-brachial index to screen for lower extremity peripheral arterial disease. Despite widespread use of this measurement, the effect of premeasurement duration of rest on the magnitude, or reliability of the ankle systolic pressure measurement is unknown. This study assessed the effect of premeasurement rest duration on systolic ankle pressures.One hundred and forty participants meeting guidelines for peripheral arterial disease screening volunteered for this study. Following 5 minutes of rest in the supine horizontal position, ankle systolic pressures of the lower extremity were taken. Measurements were repeated at 10 and 15 minutes. Testing was repeated 7 to 10 days later. A significant drop in ankle pressure of 5.02 mm Hg occurred between 5 and 10 minutes (P=0.004). No significant change occurred between 10 and 15 minutes (mean change 0.15 mm Hg, P=0.99). Presence of diabetes was associated with a smaller drop between 5 and 15 minutes (mean change 1.85 mm Hg) and predicted 13.4% of the variance in change in ankle pressure (β=-3.61, P=0.0001). Test-retest reliability after 5 minutes was excellent (intraclass correlation coefficient: 0.84, 95% CI: 0.76 to 0.91) however increased for measurements taken at 10 and 15 minutes (intraclass correlation coefficient: 0.89 95% CI: 0.83 to 0.94 and 0.89 95% CI: 0.82 to 0.93).Results suggest ankle systolic pressures stabilise after 10 minutes of rest. Longer periods of premeasurement rest did not improve reliability significantly. Though diabetes affects ankle pressure changes after rest, further investigation is required to identify the cause.