How is claudication assessed in patients with peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAOD)?

Updated: Sep 12, 2019
  • Author: Josefina A Dominguez, MD; Chief Editor: Vincent Lopez Rowe, MD  more...
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Examination of a patient with claudication should include a complete lower-extremity evaluation and pulse examination, including measuring segmental pressures. Attempt to palpate pulses from the abdominal aorta to the foot, with auscultation for bruits in the abdominal and pelvic regions. When palpable pulses are not present, a handheld Doppler device may be used to assess circulation.

A useful tool in assessing a patient with claudication is the ankle-brachial index (ABI), which is a noninvasive way of establishing the presence of PAOD and is calculated as the ratio of systolic blood pressure at the ankle to that in the arm (normal range, 0.9-1.1; PAOD, < 0.9).

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