Draft Research Plan
Draft Research Plan for Peripheral Artery Disease in Adults: Screening With the Ankle Brachial Index
This opportunity for public comment expired on April 20, 2016 at 8:00 PM EST
Note: This is a Draft Research Plan. This draft is distributed solely for the purpose of receiving public input. It has not been disseminated otherwise by the USPSTF. The final Research Plan will be used to guide a systematic review of the evidence by researchers at an Evidence-based Practice Center. The resulting Evidence Review will form the basis of the USPSTF Recommendation Statement on this topic.
Recommendations made by the USPSTF are independent of the U.S. government. They should not be construed as an official position of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
This systematic review will examine the evidence on the effectiveness of screening for peripheral artery disease (PAD) among generally asymptomatic populations in order to improve cardiovascular and PAD-specific morbidity and mortality. A concurrent systematic review on the use of nontraditional risk factors in cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk assessment (available at http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/UpdateSummaryDraft/coronary-heart-disease-screening-using-non-traditional-risk-assessment) will address the evidence on the effects of resting ankle brachial index (ABI) on the following: the discrimination or calibration of multivariate risk prediction models using traditional CVD risk factors; CVD risk reclassification; and CVD health outcomes. Together, these two systematic reviews will serve as the basis for the USPSTF recommendation on screening for PAD.
Draft: Proposed Analytic Framework
Abbreviations: ABI=ankle brachial index; PAD=peripheral artery disease.
Figure 1 is the proposed analytic framework that depicts the five Key Questions (KQs) to be addressed in the systematic review. The figure illustrates how screening generally asymptomatic adults for peripheral artery disease (PAD) with the ankle brachial index (ABI) may reduce mortality, cardiovascular morbidity, PAD morbidity, and quality of life (KQ 1). The figure also depicts the diagnostic accuracy of ABI as a screening test for PAD (KQ 2) and the harms of screening (KQ 3). KQ 4 depicts whether treatment of screen-detected or generally asymptomatic adults with PAD or abnormal ABI improves the patient health outcomes evaluated in KQ 1 and if there are harms associated with treatment (KQ 5).
Draft: Proposed Key Questions to Be Systematically Reviewed
- Is screening for PAD among generally asymptomatic* adults with the ABI effective in reducing CVD or PAD morbidity (e.g., impaired ambulation or amputation) or mortality?
- Does the effectiveness of screening vary by subpopulation (i.e., age [especially age 65 years and older], sex, race/ethnicity, and risk factors)?
- What is the diagnostic accuracy of the ABI as a screening test for PAD among generally asymptomatic adults*?
- Does the diagnostic accuracy of the ABI vary by subpopulation?
- What are the harms of screening for PAD with the ABI?
- Do the harms of screening vary by subpopulation?
- Does treatment of screen-detected or generally asymptomatic* adults with PAD or an abnormal ABI† lead to improved patient health outcomes?
- Does the effectiveness of treatment vary by subpopulation?
- What are the harms of treatment of screen-detected or generally asymptomatic* adults with PAD or an abnormal ABI?
- Do the harms of treatment vary by subpopulation?
Draft: Proposed Contextual Questions
Contextual questions will not be systematically reviewed and are not shown in the Analytic Framework.
- In primary care, what proportion of patients with an abnormal ABI are generally asymptomatic?
- What proportion of generally asymptomatic patients with an abnormal ABI receive additional diagnostic testing?
- What proportion of generally asymptomatic patients with an abnormal ABI have an ABI of greater than 1.30 or 1.40?
- What proportion of generally asymptomatic patients with an ABI of greater than 1.30 or 1.40 have PAD?
- What proportion of generally asymptomatic adults with PAD or an abnormal ABI have lower extremity functional impairment? What is the degree of lower extremity functional impairment, and how does it compare to impairment among patients with reported symptoms (e.g., claudication)?
- Do generally asymptomatic adults with PAD or an abnormal ABI have the same risk of global CVD events as symptomatic adults with PAD?
Draft: Proposed Research Approach
The Proposed Research Approach identifies the study characteristics and criteria that the Evidence-based Practice Center will use to search for publications and to determine whether identified studies should be included or excluded from the Evidence Review. Criteria are overarching as well as specific to each of the key questions (KQs).
|Population||Screening (KQs 1–3): Unselected or community-dwelling, generally asymptomatic adults*
Treatment (KQs 4, 5): Screen-detected or generally asymptomatic adults with PAD or an abnormal ABI†
|Symptomatic adults; study populations consisting exclusively of adults with known CVD, diabetes, or severe chronic kidney disease (stages 4 and 5)|
|Setting||Primary care and outpatient settings (ambulatory care)||
|Disease/Condition||Lower extremity PAD secondary to atherosclerosis‡||Other locations on the body for vascular disease (e.g., coronary artery stenosis, abdominal aortic aneurysm)|
|Screening||Resting ABI||History taking, physical examination, questionnaires, digital subtraction arteriography, duplex ultrasonography, magnetic resonance angiography, computed tomography angiography, toe pressure measurement, treadmill testing (exercise ABI), pulse oximetry, near-infrared spectroscopy, and all invasive diagnostic testing|
|Treatment or Management Interventions||
|Comparisons||KQ 1: No screening
KQ 2: Reference standard (digital subtraction angiography, diagnostic imaging of atherosclerosis [such as magnetic resonance or computed tomography angiography]) or degree of impaired blood flow (e.g., duplex ultrasonography)
KQ 4: True control group (receives placebo, no intervention, or usual care) or intervention/treatment at later or symptomatic stage of disease (vs. treatment at earlier or asymptomatic stage of disease)
|Outcomes||KQ 1: Cardiovascular morbidity (myocardial infarction, cerebral vascular accident), PAD morbidity (ambulation impairment, amputation), or mortality (all-cause, PAD-related, or CVD-related); health-related quality of life
KQ 2: Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and incidence or prevalence
KQ 4: Patient health outcomes (listed above for KQ 1)
|Harms||KQ 3: Adverse outcomes related to the ABI test itself (diagnostic inaccuracy) or harms of subsequent testing
KQ 5: Serious adverse events (e.g., death, serious adverse drug reaction) or unexpected medical attention (e.g., emergency department visit, hospitalization)
|Study Designs||KQs 1, 4: Good-quality systematic reviews and randomized or clinically-controlled trials
KQ 2: Good-quality systematic reviews and diagnostic accuracy studies
KQs 3, 5: Good-quality systematic reviews, randomized or clinically-controlled trials, and cohort or case-control studies
|Poor-quality studies based on established design-specific quality criteria
KQ 2: Case-control studies of diagnostic accuracy
KQ 4: Less than 3 months of followup
|Study Setting||Economically developed countries, defined as member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (2015): Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, and United States||
|Language||English only||Non-English languages|
* Patients without lower extremity symptoms or with vague symptoms not attributed to PAD.
† Defined as an ABI of ≤0.9 or >1.3.
‡ The condition definition for PAD ideally would be confirmed by diagnostic imaging with digital subtraction, magnetic resonance, or computed tomography angiography; however, the review will include trials that recruited patients with an abnormal ABI.
Internet Citation: Draft Research Plan: Peripheral Artery Disease in Adults: Screening With the Ankle Brachial Index . U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. March 2016.