A comparison of treadmill and arm-leg ergometry exercise testing for assessing exercise capacity in patients with peripheral arterial disease

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PURPOSE: To compare the results of treadmill exercise testing (TM) to arm-leg ergometry testing (AL) in patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD). METHODS: Twelve men and 8 women with PAD (mean age, 62 ± 10 years) completed a treadmill test and an arm-leg ergometer exercise test. Oxygen uptake, heart rate, rate-pressure product (×10), ratings of claudication and perceived exertion, and power were measured. RESULTS: Peak oxygen uptake, heart rate, and rate-pressure product were similar between TM and AL. Exercise duration was longer and the peak power higher on the AL than on the TM. Claudication pain ≥3/4 was the reason for test termination in all subjects during TM test and in 13 subjects during AL. Nine patients discontinued due to severe claudication on both tests, but the pain occurred later in AL than TM. CONCLUSIONS: Although peak oxygen uptake was similar between the 2 exercise tests, patients with PAD exercised longer and to a higher peak power during the AL. These data suggest that the AL test may be used to evaluate peak exercise capacity in patients with PAD. The AL may also provide an alternate method for detecting PAD and coronary heart disease. Copyright © Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation