A rapid, accurate, noninvasive technique for diagnosing critical and subcritical stenoses in aortoiliac arteries

Alan P. Sawchuk, D. Preston Flanigan, J. Chadwick Tober, Darwin Eton, Thomas H. Schwarcz, Jens Eldrup-Jorgensen, Joseph P. Meyer, Joseph R. Durham, James J. Schuler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


Accurate hemodynamic evaluation of the aortoiliac system for the purpose of determining the need for an inflow procedure currently requires invasive pressure measurements. This study was undertaken to evaluate a noninvasive technique with the aortofemoral transfer function. Twenty-eight human aortoiliac segments were studied with intraarterial pressure measurements, with and without papaverine injection, and by calculation of the Doppler-derived mean power frequency index obtained by digital signal processing of aortic and femoral spectra. The procedure is menu driven and can be performed by any duplex ultrasound technologist. This technique involves recording 20 aortic and 20 femoral Doppler signals, requiring less than 1 minute of data acquisition time. Intraarterial pressure measurements were used to classify arteries into the three following groups: (1) normal arteries, (2) arteries with subcritical stenoses, and (3) arteries with critical stenoses. The mean power frequency index of group 1 arteries (n = 7) was 0.63 ± 0.04, of group 2 arteries (n = 6) was 0.46 ± 0.02, and of group 3 arteries (n = 15) was 0.21 ± 0.05. These mean power frequency index values were significantly different by analysis of variance (ANOVA) (p < 0.0001). Each group could be differentiated from the other groups with a sensitivity of 0.83 to 1.00, a specificity of 1.00, and an accuracy of 0.92 to 1.00 compared to intraarterial pressure measurements, including papaverine testing. Measurement of the mean power frequency index is a rapid, noninvasive technique that diagnoses and quantifies aortoiliac stenoses with an accuracy similar to intraarterial pressure measurements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-167
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of vascular surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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