[Skip to Navigation]
Sign In
April 1984

Intermittent Claudication: Current Results of Nonoperative Management

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Peripheral Vascular Surgery, Ann Arbor (Mich) Veterans Administration Medical Center and the University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor.

Arch Surg. 1984;119(4):430-436. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1984.01390160060012

• We reviewed the clinical course of 91 men with mild Intermittent claudication who had been followed up for at least six months without operation. During 2.5 years' mean follow-up, 60% of the patients had more severe claudication. Actuarial analysis revealed an annual mortality of 4.5% and an annual operation rate of 9%. Historical factors, including age, race, smoking, exercise, diabetes, hypertension, and the ankle-brachial index (ABI), were analyzed to determine if these variables could predict clinical outcome. Only cigarette smoking, exercise, and the ABI were significant in this regard. Patients who had smoked at least 40 pack-years had an operation rate 3.3 times higher than those who smoked less. Major daily exercise was associated with stable claudication. The initial ABI did not correlate with clinical outcome. A subsequent decrease in the ABI of at least 0.15, however, was associated with an operation rate 2.5 times higher and a symptom progression rate 1.8 times higher than patients without this change in the ABI. When regression analysis was used, the preceding variables were only 63% to 79% accurate in predicting the clinical outcome of individual patients. Careful follow-up of patients with intermittent claudication is therefore recommended to allow timely operative intervention when required.

(Arch Surg 1984;119:430-436)

Add or change institution