Dynamic ultrasound and treadling: novel approaches to assess and improve lower extremity circulation

Am Surg. 2011 Aug;77(8):1091-3.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a novel treatment of peripheral vascular disease through treadling and to report a dynamic vascular ultrasound technique. After informed consent, 17 volunteers were enrolled in the study. Ultrasound was used to measure venous and arterial waveforms at the superficial femoral artery and vein in the subject's right thigh during a 5-minute baseline evaluation (resting), a 10-minute treadling period, and a 5-minute cool down period. Comparisons between flow velocities were made during the three trial periods using a Repeated Measures Mixed Linear Model test with P < 0.05 considered significant. Twenty-six examinations were performed on subjects with an average age of 37 years (range, 25-75 years). Significant increases in maximum and minimum arterial and venous flow velocities during the treadling time compared with the resting and cool down period were observed (P < 0.0001) with no change in the subjects' vital signs. We found no significant difference in maximum and minimum arterial and venous flow velocities between the resting and cool down period (P > 0.05). There were no untoward side effects, and all subjects were able to complete the protocol. Low-resistance treadling is safe and improves venous and arterial flow. Dynamic peripheral ultrasonography is a viable technique to assess flow during treadling. Potential future implications of this study include the evaluation, treatment, and management of lower extremity vascular and chronic diseases and more sensitive peripheral vascular sonography through dynamic ultrasound.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Female
  • Femoral Artery / diagnostic imaging*
  • Femoral Artery / physiology
  • Femoral Vein / diagnostic imaging*
  • Femoral Vein / physiology
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Lower Extremity / blood supply*
  • Lower Extremity / diagnostic imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peripheral Vascular Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reference Values
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Ultrasonography