Ankle-Brachial Index and cardiovascular events in atrial fibrillation: The ARAPACIS study

Francesco Violi, Giovanni Davì, Marco Proietti, Daniele Pastori, William R. Hiatt, Gino Roberto Corazza, Francesco Perticone, Pasquale Pignatelli, Alessio Farcomeni, Anna Rita Vestri, Gregory Y H Lip, Stefania Basili

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Atrial fibrillation (AF) patients are at high risk for thrombotic and vascular events related to their cardiac arrhythmia and underlying systemic atherosclerosis. Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) is a non-invasive tool in evaluating systemic atherosclerosis, useful in predicting cardiovascular events in general population; no data are available in AF patients. ARAPACIS is a prospective multicentre observational study performed by the Italian Society of Internal Medicine, analysing association between low ABI (≤ 0.90) and vascular events in NVAF out- or in-patients, enrolled in 136 Italian centres. A total of 2,027 non-valvular AF (NVAF) patients aged > 18 years from both sexes followed for a median time of 34.7 (interquartile range: 22.0–36.0) months, yielding a total of 4,614 patient-years of observation. Mean age was 73 ± 10 years old with 55% male patients. A total of 176 patients (8.7%) experienced a vascular event, with a cumulative incidence of 3.81%/patient-year. ABI≤ 0.90 was more prevalent in patients with a vascular event compared with patients free of vascular events (32.2 vs 20.2%, p<0.05). On Cox proportional hazard analysis, ABI≤ 0.90 was an independent predictor of vascular events (hazard ratio (HR): 1.394, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.042–1.866; p=0.02), vascular death (HR: 2.047, 95% CI: 1.255–3.338; p=0.004) and MI (HR: 2.709, 95% CI: 1.485–5.083; p=0.001). This latter association was also confirmed after excluding patients with previous MI (HR: 2.901, 95% CI: 1.408–5.990, p=0.004). No association was observed between low ABI and stroke/transient ischaemic attack (p=0.91). In conclusion, low ABI is useful to predict MI and vascular death in NVAF patients and may independently facilitate cardiovascular risk assessment in NVAF patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)856-863
Number of pages8
JournalThrombosis and Haemostasis
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2016


  • ABI
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Vascular events

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

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