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1.  Applicability of the ankle-brachial-index measurement as screening device for high cardiovascular risk: an observational study 
Screening with ankle-brachial index (ABI) measurement could be clinically relevant to avoid cardiovascular events in subjects with asymptomatic atherosclerosis. To assess the practical impact of guidelines regarding the use of ABI as a screening tool in general practice, the corresponding number needed to screen, including the required time investment, and the feasibility of ABI performance, was assessed.
An observational study was performed in the setting of 955 general practices in the Netherlands. Overall, 13,038 subjects of ≥55 years presenting with symptoms of intermittent claudication and/or presenting with ≥ one vascular risk factor were included. Several guidelines recommend the ABI as an additional measurement in selected populations for risk assessment for cardiovascular morbidity.
Screening of the overall population of ≥50 years results in ≈862 subjects per general practice who should be screened, resulting in a time-requirement of approximately 6 weeks of full time work. Using an existing clinical prediction model, 247 patients per general practice should be screened for PAD by ABI measurement.
Screening the entire population of ≥50 years will in our opinion not be feasible in general practice. A more rationale and efficient approach might be screening of subsets of the population of ≥55 years based on a clinical prediction model.
PMCID: PMC3444328  PMID: 22846150
2.  Functional claudication distance: a reliable and valid measurement to assess functional limitation in patients with intermittent claudication 
Disease severity and functional impairment in patients with intermittent claudication is usually quantified by the measurement of pain-free walking distance (intermittent claudication distance, ICD) and maximal walking distance (absolute claudication distance, ACD). However, the distance at which a patient would prefer to stop because of claudication pain seems a definition that is more correspondent with the actual daily life walking distance. We conducted a study in which the distance a patient prefers to stop was defined as the functional claudication distance (FCD), and estimated the reliability and validity of this measurement.
In this clinical validity study we included patients with intermittent claudication, following a supervised exercise therapy program. The first study part consisted of two standardised treadmill tests. During each test ICD, FCD and ACD were determined. Primary endpoint was the reliability as represented by the calculated intra-class correlation coefficients. In the second study part patients performed a standardised treadmill test and filled out the Rand-36 questionnaire. Spearman's rho was calculated to assess validity.
The intra-class correlation coefficients of ICD, FCD and ACD were 0.940, 0.959, and 0.975 respectively. FCD correlated significantly with five out of nine domains, namely physical function (rho = 0.571), physical role (rho = 0.532), vitality (rho = 0.416), pain (rho = 0.416) and health change (rho = 0.414).
FCD is a reliable and valid measurement for determining functional capacity in trained patients with intermittent claudication. Furthermore it seems that FCD better reflects the actual functional impairment. In future studies, FCD could be used alongside ICD and ACD.
PMCID: PMC2667172  PMID: 19254382
3.  Symptomatic peripheral arterial disease: the value of a validated questionnaire and a clinical decision rule 
If a validated questionnaire, when applied to patients reporting with symptoms of intermittent claudication, could adequately discriminate between those with and without peripheral arterial disease, GPs could avoid the diagnostic measurement of the ankle brachial index.
To investigate the Edinburgh Claudication Questionnaire (ECQ) in general practice and to develop a clinical decision rule based on risk factors to enable GPs to easily assess the likelihood of peripheral arterial disease.
Design of study
An observational study.
General practice in The Netherlands.
This observational study included patients of ≥55 years visiting their GP for symptoms suggestive of intermittent claudication or with one risk factor. The ECQ and the ankle brachial index were performed. The prevalence of peripheral arterial disease, defined as an ankle brachial index <0.9, was related to risk factors using logistic regression analyses, on which a clinical decision rule was developed and related to the presence of peripheral arterial disease.
Of the 4790 included patients visiting their GP with symptoms suggestive of intermittent claudication, 4527 were eligible for analyses. The prevalence of peripheral arterial disease in this group was 48.3%. The sensitivity of the ECQ was only 56.2%. The prevalence of peripheral arterial disease in a clinical decision rule that included age, male sex, smoking, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and a positive ECQ, increased from 14% in the lowest to 76% in the highest category.
This study indicates that the ECQ alone has an inadequate diagnostic value in detecting patients with peripheral arterial disease. The ankle brachial index should be performed to diagnose peripheral arterial disease in patients with complaints suggestive of intermittent claudication, although our clinical decision rule could help to differentiate between extremely high and lower prevalence of peripheral arterial disease.
PMCID: PMC1934053  PMID: 17132381
ankle brachial index; atheroscelerosis; clinical decision rule; Edinburgh Claudication Questionnaire; intermittent claudication; peripheral vascular disease

Results 1-3 (3)