Within the clinical setting, it has been suggested that ABPI tests are currently underused (Benchimol et al, 2012), most notably due to the rest time recommended prior to measurement when adopting the manual method (NICE, 2012). Measurement of the ABPI when using an automated device is unique in that no pre-test rest is recommended (Span et al, 2016). A literature review carried out by Al-Qaisi et al (2009) reported that there is currently no consensus agreement on the methodology of the ABPI including the rest periods used.
To investigate the claim of no rest period needed and determine the necessity of rest time prior to ABPI testing when using the MESI ABPI MD, a team of researchers, consisting of Matthew Carwithen, Jack Boulter, Hannah Jones, Elena Daynes and Claire Horsley conducted a repeated, cross-sectional study at the Peninsula Allied Healthcare Centre (PAHC) of Plymouth University. Four sequential ABPI measurements were performed at 0, 10, 20 and 30-minutes on healthy individuals.
The key finding of this study is that rest time does not significantly affect ABPI scores in healthy individuals, when tested with the MESI automated device. The MESI device negates the need for rest time prior to ABPI measurement and does not need a specialist clinician to operate. These factors could contribute to the increased implementation of ABPI screening within a clinical setting, possibly resulting in earlier diagnosis of PAD, minimising both physiological and economic impact.
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