Quantitative Assessment of Peroneal Artery Pressure at the Ankle With Noninvasive Vascular Testing

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Although the foot and ankle derives its arterial supply from a combination of the anterior tibial artery (ATA), posterior tibial artery (PTA), and peroneal artery (PA), the focus of clinical examination techniques and noninvasive vascular testing is primarily on the ATA and PTA and not on the PA. The objectives of the present investigation were to evaluate the feasibility of incorporating an assessment of the PA into a noninvasive vascular testing protocol and to collect normative data of pressure measurements of the PA at the ankle. We attempted to locate a Doppler signal of the PA posterior to the lateral malleolus in consecutive patients undergoing our institution's standard protocol for lower extremity noninvasive vascular testing using the ankle-brachial index and photoplethysmography. An audible signal of the PA with an available pressure measurement recording posterior to the lateral malleolus was found in a large majority (92.0%) of the studied legs with peripheral arterial disease. We also found pressure measurements in the PA generally equivalent to that of the ATA and PTA. The mean ± standard deviation systolic pressure of the PA was 130.33 ± 44.74 (range 54 to 255) mm Hg, with a corresponding ankle-brachial index of 0.92. The results of the present investigation provide unique information on a potentially underappreciated aspect of lower extremity vascular anatomy with the potential to affect rearfoot surgical decision making and planning.

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