Additional prognostic value of toe-brachial index beyond ankle-brachial index in hemodialysis patients

Manabu Hishida, Takahiro Imaizumi, Steven Menez, Masaki Okazaki, Shin'Ichi Akiyama, Hirotake Kasuga, Junichi Ishigami, Shoichi Maruyama, Kunihiro Matsushita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Ankle-brachial index (ABI), the first-line diagnostic test for peripheral artery disease, can be falsely elevated when ankle arteries are incompressible, showing a J-shaped association with mortality. In this situation, toe-brachial index (TBI) is the recommended test. However, whether TBI provides additional prognostic information beyond ABI in patients on hemodialysis is unknown. Methods: In this retrospective cohort study of 247 Japanese prevalent hemodialysis patients (mean age 66.8 [SD 11.6] years), we evaluated mortality (116 deaths over a median follow-up of 5.2 years) related to quartiles of ABI and TBI, as well as three categories of low ABI (≤0.9), normal/high ABI (> 0.9) + low TBI (≤0.6), and normal/high ABI + normal TBI (> 0.6) using multivariable Cox models. Results: ABI showed a J-shaped association with mortality (adjusted hazard ratio 2.72 [95% CI, 1.52-4.88] in the lowest quartile and 1.59 [95% CI, 0.87-2.90] in the highest quartile vs. the second highest). Lower TBI showed a potentially dose-response association with mortality (e.g., adjusted hazard ratios 2.63 [95% CI, 1.36-5.12] and 2.89 [95% CI, 1.49-5.61] in the lowest two quartiles vs. the highest). When three categories by both ABI and TBI were analyzed, those with low ABI (≤0.9) experienced the highest risk followed by normal/high ABI (> 0.9) + low TBI (≤0.6). Among patients with normal/high ABI (> 0.9), the increased mortality risk in individuals with low TBI (≤0.6) compared to those with normal TBI (> 0.6) were significant (adjusted hazard ratio 1.84 [95% CI, 1.12-3.02]). Conclusions: Lower TBI was independently associated with mortality in patients on hemodialysis and has the potential to classify mortality risk in patients with normal/high ABI. Our results support the importance of evaluating TBI in addition to ABI in this clinical population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number353
JournalBMC nephrology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 20 2020


  • Ankle brachial index
  • Hemodialysis
  • Mortality
  • Peripheral artery disease
  • Toe brachial index

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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