Pharmacological treatment has been used to alleviate the claudication symptoms and improve walking performance in peripheral arterial disease (PAD) patients. However, the effects of claudication treatments on gait mechanics have not been objectively indentified with biomechanical techniques. For this study, 20 PAD patients were assigned to take either pentoxifylline (n = 11) or cilostazol (n = 9), the two FDA-approved pharmacological therapies used to treat intermittent claudication symptoms. All patients completed a gait evaluation protocol that involved the acquisition of kinematic and kinetic gait data before use of the medication and after 12 weeks of treatment. Results showed that treatment with either pentoxifylline or cilostazol resulted in limited overall improvement in gait parameters including joint angles and joint moments. Walking speed was unchanged, in either treatment group, as a result of the medication. These results suggest that to improve biomechanical walking parameters of PAD patients, clinicians cannot rely on drug therapies alone.
Jessie M. Huisinga (Corresponding Author), with the Nebraska Biomechanics Core Facility, Department of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Omaha, NE, is now with the Balance Disorders Lab, Department of Neurology, Oregon Health & Sciences University, Beaverton, OR. Iraklis I. Pipinos is with the Department of Surgery, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE. Nicholas Stergiou is with the Nebraska Biomechanics Core Facility, Department of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Omaha, NE. Jason M. Johanning is with the Department of Surgery, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE.