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Print version ISSN 1807-5932On-line version ISSN 1980-5322


NAKANO, Lívio et al. Objective evaluation of upper limb claudication: use of isokinetic dynamometry. Clinics [online]. 2006, vol.61, n.3, pp.189-196. ISSN 1980-5322.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this work is to present an objective, practical, and reproducible method for evaluating the functional limitation caused by occlusive arterial disease in upper limbs: a stress test using an isokinetic dynamometer. METHODS: Twenty-three patients with unilateral subclavian artery occlusive disease were included in the study, forming group 1. Seven patients of similar age, with atherosclerotic or Takayasu's disease in the aorto-iliac segment, without subclavian artery occlusive disease, were included as a control group (group 2). For all tests, we utilized the CYBEX© 6000 isokinetic dynamometer. The elbow was tested using a series of 30 repetitions of extension and flexion of the arm, performed up to a maximum of 270 repetitions (9 series) or until the limit of the tested limb was reached. RESULTS: We initially compared all the limbs without arterial disease of both groups to analyze whether they presented similar functional performance. No significant difference was found for any of the parameters studied. Considering that upper limbs without arterial disease have a similar response to exercise in these analyzed parameters, we compared the upper limbs in group 1 (with and without subclavian artery occlusive disease). For all parameters, the limbs with subclavian artery occlusive disease presented significantly lower values than the control limbs (P < 0.05), which can be objectively attributed to the ischemia (there were different responses in different individuals, which allows the quantification of the limitation caused by subclavian artery occlusive disease). CONCLUSION: In this study, we present a new stress test for impairment in patients with subclavian artery occlusive disease that might facilitate the classification of patients according to their functional impairment, and thus result in a better choice of therapeutic approach for each case as well as reporting of objective parameters that allow comparisons of the results of different treatments, including for long-term follow-up.

Keywords : Ischemia; Upper extremity [blood supply]; Exercise test [instrumentation]; Intermittent claudication; Blood pressure; Subclavian steal syndrome.

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