Comparison of the ankle-brachial index with parameters of stiffness and peripheral arterial resistance assessed by photoplethysmography in elderly patients

Abstract Background The ankle-brachial index (ABI) uses the ratio between systolic blood pressures at the ankle and the arm to diagnose peripheral arterial disease (PAD) noninvasively. Photoplethysmography (PPG) measures and records changes to the blood volume in the human body using optical techniques. Objectives The objective of this study was to compare ABI with arterial stiffness and peripheral resistance parameters assessed using PPG in elderly patients and to propose a model for prediction of ABI. Methods A cross-sectional, quantitative study was conducted. The sample comprised elderly patients seen at a medical specialties clinic at the Universidade do Sul de Santa Catarina (UNISUL), Brazil. Age, sex, body mass index (BMI), comorbidities, smoking, and physical activity were recorded. The variables obtained using PPG and ABI were compared using bivariate and multivariate linear regression, with an α error of 0.05. Results A total of 93 elderly patients were assessed, 63.4% of whom were women. In 98.9% of cases, ABI was within normal limits. Comparison of ABI with variables acquired by PPG revealed significant associations with age. However, no significant associations were observed between ABI and PPG. The multivariate model indicated that only age, sex, and smoking were associated with ABI. Conclusions In conclusion, ABI and PPG exhibited associations with arterial aging, considering its correlation with age. However, ABI was only related to age, sex, and smoking. More studies are needed to evaluate the potential uses of PPG for screening for vascular diseases in ambulatory settings.