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December 1975

Calf Blood Flow in Intermittent Claudication

Author Affiliations

From the departments of surgery and rehabilitation medicine, New York University School of Medicine (Mr Jacobs and Dr Reich), and the Faculty of Medicine, Free University of Berlin, Federal German Republic (Mr Jacobs).

Arch Surg. 1975;110(12):1465-1468. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1975.01360180035007

• Calf blood flow was correlated with severity of symptoms in 24 patients with intermittent claudication. Calf blood flow was measured (Whitney strain gauge) at three levels of demand—at rest, after exercise ("open"), and after exercise with total vascular occlusion by a tourniquet about the thigh ("closed"). The results showed significant correlation between the patients' reported capacity to walk and measured exercise tolerance on an ergometer (P<.01). The coefficients of correlation between exercise tolerance and calf blood flow (resting, postopen or postclosed exercise) or the vascular reserve (difference between postopen and postclosed exercise hyperemia) were not significant.

It is concluded that capacity for walking in cases of intermittent claudication is not a reliable index of the calf blood flow. The relationship between these factors would be clearer if the patients pain threshold and calf tissue metabolic activity were known also.

(Arch Surg 110:1465-1468, 1975)