How sensitive and specific is continuous-wave Doppler for detecting peripheral arterial disease in people with and without diabetes? A cross-sectional study

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Abstract

Background:

Continuous-wave Doppler is frequently used for detecting peripheral arterial disease in patients with diabetes; however, there is limited evidence investigating diagnostic accuracy. This study aimed to determine sensitivity and specificity of continuous-wave Doppler for detecting peripheral arterial disease in populations with, and without, diabetes and to investigate the influence of disease severity on sensitivity of continuous-wave Doppler for detecting peripheral arterial disease.

Results:

Data from 396 participants were included. Using colour Duplex ultrasound as reference standard (N=66), printed continuous-wave Doppler waveform analysis sensitivity was 81.75% (95% confidence interval: 76.75 to 85.88) and specificity 89.34% (95% confidence interval: 82.62 to 93.67). Printed continuous-wave Doppler waveform analysis sensitivity for peripheral arterial disease was comparable to sensitivity calculated using angiography as the reference standard (81.67%; 95% confidence interval: 69.56 to 90.48). Sensitivity and specificity were unaffected by diabetes diagnosis (n = 176), sensitivity 82.76% (95% confidence interval: 74.86 to 88.55), and specificity 88.33% (95% confidence interval: 77.82 to 94.23).

Conclusion:

Continuous-wave Doppler is a fair assessment tool for peripheral arterial disease in a community-based sample with suspected peripheral arterial disease. Diagnostic accuracy of continuous-wave Doppler for peripheral arterial disease is unaffected by the presence of diabetes.

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