The lower-extremity allen test

Nicholas T. Haddock, Evan S. Garfein, Pierre B. Saadeh, Jamie P. Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The Allen test is used to diagnose the relative contribution of the ulnar and radial arteries to each hand. We modified this test to investigate the relative vascular contributions to distal perfusion of the lower extremity. With the patient supine, a handheld Doppler is used to locate the first dorsal metatarsal artery. The posterior tibial artery (PT) and dorsalis pedis artery (DP) pulses are compressed. A persistent signal indicates collateral flow through the peroneal artery (PA). Sequential decompression is then used to evaluate the relative contribution ofthe PT and DP to distal circulation. We report a case in which angiography failed to predict reliance on the PT. In this case, performance of the lower-extremity Allen test (LEAT) led to an alternative recipient vessel choice. The LEAT is simple to perform and provides a valuable adjunct to angiographic data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)399-403
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Reconstructive Microsurgery
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2009


  • Allen test
  • Arterial supply
  • KEYWORDS Lower-extremity reconstruction
  • Vascular exam

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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