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February 25, 1974

Arm and Leg Blood Pressures

JAMA. 1974;227(8):942. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230210052024

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To the Editor.—  The recent article on ultrasound measurement of arm and leg blood pressures by Felix et al (226:1096, 1973) surprised us. The controversy mentioned needs a bibliographic comment.To quote from the report:Workers with the Korotkoff method report marked elevations of systolic leg pressures over arm pressures in normal adults and in children. Interpretation of these studies is complicated by varying approaches to the problem of cuff size. Pascarelli and Bertrand compared arm and leg pressures measured by intra-arterial catheter and concluded that the two are substantially identical. Park and Gunterorth reported similar findings with direct measurements in children. Hamilton et al, however, measured intra-arterial pressures in the femoral and axillary arteries and concluded that the supine blood pressure in the leg ranges from 10 to 40 mm Hg higher than in the arm. Finally, Kotte and associates used both direct and indirect methods and found evidence