Fast Five Quiz: Peripheral Arterial Occlusive Disease Signs and Symptoms

Arnold S. Baas, MD


May 17, 2022

By definition, patients with an ABI of < 0.90 can be diagnosed with PAOD. Because leg pain assessment presents limitations, the ABI represents a more objective measure in assessing a patient with claudication and can help determine the severity of disease.

A normal ABI is 0.9-1.1, and ABI decreases with worsening PAOD. Patients with an ABI of ≥ 0.50 are unlikely to experience critical limb ischemia. Those with an ABI of ≤ 0.40 are more likely to develop ischemic rest pain or ischemic wounds. Some patients, particularly those with diabetes, show a falsely elevated ABI of > 1.4. ABI may be a less accurate assessment tool in patients with diabetes who have PAOD, as peripheral vessels may have extensive medial layer calcinosis, rendering the vessel resistant to compression by the pneumatic cuff. For these patients, toe-brachial index may be helpful.

Learn more about the presentation of PAOD.

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