Tibial artery duplex ultrasound-derived peak systolic velocities may be an objective performance measure after above-knee endovascular therapy for arterial stenosis

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Abstract

Objective:

The ankle-brachial index (ABI) is a well-established measure of distal perfusion in lower extremity ischemia; however, the ABI is of limited value in patients with noncompressible lower extremity arteries. We sought to demonstrate whether duplex ultrasound-determined tibial artery velocities can be used as an alternative to ABI as an objective performance measure after endovascular treatment of above-knee arterial stenosis.

Methods:

Thirty-six patients undergoing above-knee endovascular intervention had preprocedure and postprocedure duplex ultrasound examination within 6 months of intervention. Preprocedure vs postprocedure changes in tibial artery mean peak systolic velocity (PSV; mean of proximal, mid, and distal velocities) were compared with changes in ABI and a reference (control) cohort of 68 patients without peripheral vascular disease.

Results:

Thirty-six patients (41 limbs) had an above-knee endovascular intervention and had preprocedure and postprocedure duplex ultrasound examinations of the ipsilateral extremity including the tibial arteries. Before the procedure, mean tibial artery PSVs in the 36 patients undergoing intervention were outside (below) the 95% confidence intervals for the control patients. In comparing preprocedure and postprocedure PSVs, the mean anterior tibial (P < .01), mean peroneal (P < .01), and mean posterior tibial (P < .01) PSVs all increased and correlated with an increase in ABI (P < .01). After endovascular intervention, duplex ultrasound-derived mean PSVs fell within or near established reference ranges for patients without peripheral arterial disease. Mean tibial artery PSV increases were similar in patients with and without noncompressible vessels.

Conclusions:

Tibial artery PSVs increase, correlate with an increase in ABI, and fall within or near confidence intervals for normal controls after above-knee endovascular interventions. After endovascular intervention, tibial artery PSVs can supplement ABI as an objective performance measure in patients with and in particular without compressible tibial arteries.

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