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J R Soc Med. 2007 March; 100(3): 117.
PMCID: PMC1809158

Ankle Brachial Pressure Index

The Editorial by Bhasin and Scott1 made a persuasive case for measuring the Ankle Brachial Pressure Index (ABPI). They told the reader, five times, that this was a ‘quick, easy, simple, accurate, non-invasive, tool,’ so I couldn't wait to rush to the surgery to measure this entity. However, the article didn't tell me what equipment, if any, I would need nor how to derive the index. The reader was told that the topic is either ‘briefly covered in most undergraduate text books’ (but mine are 40 years old) or mentioned a reference that is not available in my local hospital library (if I could only find somewhere to park). Consequently I could only guess about the meaning of the information in Table 1 and the patients whose peripheral vascular disease I might have diagnosed have long since shuffled off. I eventually tracked something down in Wikipedia.

I realize that an Editorial must be succinct but it would be helpful when an unfamiliar method is being eulogized that a couple of lines were set aside to describe it in outline.


Competing interests None declared.


1. Bhasin N, Scott DJA. Ankle Brachial Pressure Index: identifying cardiovascular risk and improving diagnostic accuracy. J Roy Soc Med 2007;100: 4-5 [PMC free article] [PubMed]

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