Peripheral arterial disease: Diagnostic challenges and how photoplethysmography may help

S. Wilkes, G. Stansby, A. Sims, S. Haining, J. Allen

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) affects approximately 20% of patients aged ≥60 years.1 A GP with an average list size of 1800 patients can expect to have 50–60 patients with PAD. Ankle-brachial pressure index (ABPI), which is the ratio of the ankle to brachial systolic pressure measured by sphygmomanometer and hand-held Doppler ultrasound probe, is used to assess PAD in general practice. ABPI has been shown to have a sensitivity of 95% and specificity of 99% compared to angiographic imaging,2 however it is relatively time-consuming and requires adequately trained staff. There are limitations with ABPI in patients with diabetes, renal disease, and older people where an underestimation of disease can occur with a falsely high ratio due to the presence of incompressible calcified blood vessels.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-324
Number of pages2
JournalBritish Journal of General Practice
Issue number635
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes


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