What Is the Clinical Utility of the Ankle-Brachial Index in Patients With Diabetic Foot Ulcers and Radiographic Arterial Calcification?

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The purpose of this study was to analyze the influence of radiographic arterial calcification (RAC) on the clinical interpretation of ankle-brachial index (ABI) values in patients with diabetic foot ulcers. We analyzed a retrospective clinical database of 60 patients with diabetic foot ulcers from the Diabetic Foot Unit (Complutense University, Madrid, Spain) between January 2012 and March 2014. For each patient, anteroposterior XR-plains were evaluated, and the ABI and toe-brachial index (TBI) were assessed by an experienced clinician. To analyze the correlation among quantitative variables, we applied the Pearson correlation coefficient. Fifty percent (n = 9/18) of our patients with a normal ABI and RAC had a TBI < 0.7 associated with peripheral arterial disease (PAD). In patients with RAC, the prevalence of a normal ABI (72%, 18/25) was higher than in patients without RAC (52%, 11/21). The Pearson correlation coefficient among the ABI and TBI in patients with an ABI < 1.4 (n = 46) was lesser (r = .484, P = .001) than in patients with an ABI < 1.4 but without RAC (n = 21; r = .686, P = .001). ABI values between 0.9 and 1.4 would be falsely considered as normal and could underestimate the prevalence of PAD, especially in patients with neuropathy, diabetic foot ulcers, or RAC.

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