Objective assessment of functional capacity in patients with peripheral artery disease: a narrative review

Gustavo Oliveira da Silva, Heloisa Amaral Braghieri, Max Duarte de Oliveira, Breno Quintella Farah, Hélcio Kanegusuku, Gabriel Grizzo Cucato, Marília Almeida Correia, Raphael Mendes Ritti-Dias*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction: Peripheral artery disease (PAD) patients with claudication symptoms exhibit impaired functional capacity, which has been associated with disease severity, worse quality of life and higher risk of cardiovascular events. Different tests have been used to assess functional capacity in PAD patients. Therefore, understanding the characteristics, strengths and limitations of these tests are important to support the choice of tests to be used in clinical practice. Areas covered: This review summarizes the main methods to assess functional capacity in PAD patients, discussing their psychometric properties, applications, and limitations. Expert opinion: Robust evidence supports the use of treadmill and six-minute walk tests in PAD patients, as their results are associated with clinically meaningful outcomes, adequate psychometric properties and are sensitive to effects of interventions. On the other hand, other functional tests (Shuttle-walk test, outdoor walking capacity test, timed-up and go, four-meter walk test, heel-rise test, short physical performance battery and modified physical performance battery) are related to activities of daily living and do not require sophisticated equipment and can be easily used in clinical practice. However, these other tests still need evidence regarding their clinical relevance, reliability, and ability to detect long-term intervention changes, providing further investigation directions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)867-875
Number of pages9
JournalExpert Review of Cardiovascular Therapy
Issue number11
Early online date30 Oct 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2023

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