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January 1978

Reactive Hyperemia vs Treadmill Exercise Testing in Arterial Disease

Author Affiliations

From the Peripheral Vascular Laboratory, Division of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Iowa Hospitals and Veterans Administration Hospital, Iowa City.

Arch Surg. 1978;113(1):95-98. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1978.01370130097019

• We compared the ankle pressure response during reactive hyperemia to the response to treadmill exercise in 28 limbs of 14 normal individuals and 26 legs of 15 patients with arterial occlusive disease. The mean percent maximum drop in ankle blood pressure during reactive hyperemia in normal limbs, 17% ± 11% (± 1 SD) was significantly less than that of legs with arterial disease, 54% ± 15% (P <.001). Abnormal values were recorded in all but three diseased limbs. There was good correlation between the ankle pressure responses to reactive hyperemia and treadmill exercise (r = 0.71, P <.001). This study suggests that measurement of ankle pressure during reactive hyperemia may be a useful substitute for treadmill testing to determine the functional capacity of the circulation during stress in patients with arterial occlusive disease. Reactive hyperemia testing requires less time and equipment and may be performed in patients who might be at risk or unable to carry out treadmill exercise.

(Arch Surg 113:95-98, 1978)