Diagnostic accuracy of the maximal systolic acceleration to detect peripheral arterial disease

J Vasc Surg. 2024 Feb;79(2):405-411. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2023.10.049. Epub 2023 Oct 31.


Background: Diagnosing peripheral arterial disease (PAD) can be challenging owing to medial arterial calcification (MAC) in patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) and chronic kidney disease (CKD). Current bedside tests, such as the ankle-brachial index and toe-brachial index, are often insufficient. The maximal systolic acceleration (ACCmax) is a velocimetric Doppler-derived parameter and could be a new promising test in the diagnostic workup of these patients. The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic performance of the ACCmax to detect PAD.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study was performed in a tertiary referral hospital. Patients ≥18 years old with suspected PAD who underwent ACCmax measurement(s) along with computed tomography angiography of the abdominal aorta and lower extremities (reference test) were eligible for inclusion. ACCmax measurements of the posterior tibial artery, anterior tibial artery and peroneal artery were collected. Diagnostic performance was assessed by using sensitivity, specificity, positive likelihood ratio, negative likelihood ratio, and area under the curve (AUC).

Results: In total, 340 patients (618 limbs) were included. Approximately 40% suffered from DM and 30% had CKD. Diagnostic performance of the ACCmax to detect PAD for the posterior tibial artery showed a sensitivity of 90%, specificity of 93%, positive likelihood ratio of 12.83, and negative likelihood ratio of 0.11 (AUC, 0.953). For the anterior tibial artery, these results were 94%, 97%, 32.06, and 0.06 (same sequence as presented before) with an AUC of 0.984. The peroneal artery had a performance of 86%, 89%, 7.51, and 0.16, respectively (AUC, 0.893). Diagnostic accuracy of the ACCmax did not diminish in subgroup analysis for patients with DM or CKD.

Conclusions: The ACCmax showed excellent diagnostic performance to detect PAD, independent of patients prone to medial arterial calcification.

Keywords: Diagnostics; Doppler; Lower extremity artery disease; Peripheral artery disease; Point of care testing; Systolic acceleration; Ultrasound imaging.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Ankle Brachial Index
  • Diabetes Mellitus*
  • Humans
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease* / diagnostic imaging
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic* / diagnosis
  • Retrospective Studies