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Can duplex arterial ultrasonography reduce unnecessary angiography?

  • T Elgzyri
  • G Ekberg
  • K Peterson
  • A Lundell
  • J Apelqvist
Publishing year: 2008-11
Language: English
Pages: 497-500
Publication/Series: Journal of Wound Care
Volume: 17
Issue: 11
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Emap Healthcare Limited

Abstract english

OBJECTIVE: To assess the value of arterial duplex ultrasound, which assesses the location and severity of arterial disease, in determining whether invasive vascular intervention is required.

METHOD: A total of 166 consecutive diabetic patients presenting at a multidisciplinary foot clinic with severe peripheral vascular disease, with or without a foot ulcer, were included in this prospective study. The choice of vascular intervention was based on the results of a duplex ultrasound examination. Subjects were followed up for two years, and their clinical management, vascular assessments and interventions given, and patient outcomes were recorded in a specially designed protocol.

RESULTS: Based on findings of the duplex ultrasound, it was recommended that 55 patients (33%) should undergo angioplasty (percutaneous transluminal angioplasty [PTA] and/or subintimal recanalisation), 64 patients (39%) diagnostic angiography and 47 patients (28%) medical treatment only, thereby avoiding unnecessary angiography and its potential complications. Diagnostic angiography was recommended when the duplex ultrasound results were inconclusive. Fifty-two of the 55 patients recommended angiography with simultaneous angioplasty had an angiography; of these, 42 (81%) then had an angioplasty. Fifty-seven of the 64 patients with inconclusive results had an angiography. Of these, 23 (40%) subsequently had angioplasty, only 10 (18%) had reconstructive surgery and 24 (42%) had a diagnostic angiography only.

CONCLUSION: Arterial duplex ultrasound may assist evaluations of the need for and type of invasive vascular intervention in patients with an ischaemic diabetic foot. It can thus help avoid diagnostic angiographies that do not result in vascular intervention. However, such decision-making remains at the discretion of the vascular surgeon and radiologist.


  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems
  • Angiography
  • Arteries/diagnostic imaging
  • Decision Trees
  • Humans
  • Peripheral Vascular Diseases/diagnostic imaging
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler


  • Genomics, Diabetes and Endocrinology
  • Vascular Diseases - Clinical Research
  • ISSN: 0969-0700
E-mail: jan [dot] apelqvist [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se


Genomics, Diabetes and Endocrinology

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