Evaluation of Patients with Lower Extremity Peripheral Artery Disease by Walking Tests: A Pilot Study
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) directly affects the quality of life, patients experimenting limited walking ability and disability. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the walking and climbing patterns of patients with lower extremity PAD in relation with several risk factors, applied on Romanian population. A cohort non-randomized design was conducted and all eligible subjects who self-referred for medical care since March 2016 until February 2017 at the Second Surgery Department, County Clinical Emergency Hospital of Cluj-Napoca were included. The eligible patients were older than 18 years, with leg pain and Rutherford grade from I to IV. The following tests were applied to each subject included in the study to investigate the capacity to walk as far as possible in six minute (6 minute walking test), the capacity to climb stairs (climbing stairs test) and the capacity to walk on a treadmill (treadmill test) until the pain occurred. Twenty-four patients with mean age of 65.08±8.53 years were investigated. Almost 81% of patients were with chronic pain, 46% were overweight, and 79% were smokers. The results on applied walking tests were as follows: 279.17±70.58 meters to 6-minutes walking test, 77.50±21.80 stairs and 182.50±73.34 meters on treadmill test. The results of the walking tests significantly correlate with each other (ρ>0.93, p<0.0001), and all applied tests significantly correlate with toe gangrene (ρ>|0.52|, p<0.01) and toe disarticulation (ρ>0.62, p<0.002). It can be concluded that any of the applied walking test proved reliable instrument, able to identify the patients with most severe PAD.
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