Progressive vs single-stage treadmill tests for evaluation of claudication

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1991 Apr;23(4):402-8.


The reliability of claudication pain and the metabolic and hemodynamic measurements of the lower limbs of patients with stable peripheral vascular occlusive disease (PVOD) were compared during and following single-stage (S) and progressive (P) treadmill tests. Ten patients (69.8 +/- 1.8 yr; X +/- SE) walked to maximal claudication pain twice a month for 4 months. Patients walked at 1.5 mph up a 7.5% grade (S test) and at 2 mph on a 0% grade, increasing by 2% every 2 min (P test). Distance walked to the onset of claudication pain (CPD) and maximal walking distance (MWD) were recorded. Foot transcutaneous oxygen tension (TcPO2) was measured before, during, and after exercise, while ankle systolic blood pressure (SBP) and the ankle-to-brachial SBP index (ABI) were measured before and after exercise. Intraclass correlation coefficients (R) of CPD and MWD during S tests were R = 0.53 and R = 0.55, respectively. In contrast, the respective R values during P tests were R = 0.89 and R = 0.93. Higher R values of foot TcPO2 were also obtained during and following P tests, while ankle SBP and ABI were highly reliable following both tests. It is concluded that the severity of PVOD is better assessed by P treadmill tests because clinical measurements are more reliable during exercise and recovery.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Blood Gas Monitoring, Transcutaneous
  • Blood Pressure
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Femoral Artery*
  • Humans
  • Iliac Artery*
  • Intermittent Claudication / complications*
  • Leg
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / etiology*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Popliteal Artery*
  • Systole