Determination of the arterial blood pressure in the lower extremity is an important part of the physical examination. This simple procedure is of particular value in the diagnosis of various conditions in which there is a significant disparity between the pressure in the arterial system of upper and lower extremities. Such conditions include (a) congenital coarctation of the aorta, (b) acquired occlusive diseases of the aorta and large arteries of the lower extremities, (c) extrinsic compression of the aorta, and (d) aortic aneurysms.
The presence of palpable pulses in the peripheral arteries of the lower extremity does not necessarily exclude the above conditions. Even an experienced clinician cannot detect minor but often significant differences in the volume of the pulses in the two extremities. Palpation of the pulses in the peripheral arteries of the lower extremities in individuals suspected of having coarctation of the aorta is an unreliable screening procedure
Sapp OL, Arney GK, Mattingly TW. DETERMINATION OF ARTERIAL BLOOD PRESSURE IN THE LOWER EXTREMITYUSE OF AN EIGHTEEN CENTIMETER SPHYGMOMANOMETER THIGH CUFF. JAMA. 1955;159(18):1727–1730. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02960350027008
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