Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

A systematic review of lower extremity electrical stimulation for treatment of walking impairment in peripheral artery disease

Abstract : Lower extremity peripheral artery disease (PAD) induces an ischemic pain in the lower limbs and leads to walking impairment. Electrical stimulation has been used in patients with PAD, but no systematic review has been proposed to address the efficacy of the technique as a treatment for walking impairment in PAD. A systematic search was performed to identify trials focused on electrical stimulation for the treatment of walking impairment in patients with PAD in the Cochrane Central Register, PubMed, Embase, and the Web of Science. Studies were included where the primary outcomes were pain-free walking distance and/or maximal walking distance. When appropriate, eligible studies were independently assessed for quality using the Cochrane Collaboration's tool for assessing risk of bias. Five studies eligible for inclusion were identified, of which only two were randomized controlled studies. Trial heterogeneity prevented the use of the GRADE system and the implementation of a meta-analysis. Three types of electrical stimulation have been used neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES, n = 3), transcutaneous electrical stimulation (n = 1), and functional electrical stimulation (n = 1). The two available randomized controlled studies reported a significant improvement in maximal walking distance (+40 m/+34% and +39 m/+35%, respectively) following a program of NMES. Owing to the low number of eligible studies, small sample size, and the risk of bias, no clear clinical indication can be drawn regarding the efficacy of electrical stimulation for the management of impaired walking function in patients with PAD. Future high-quality studies are required to define objectively the effect of electrical stimulation on walking capacity.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadatas
Contributor : Laurent Jonchère <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, May 6, 2020 - 9:23:35 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, January 19, 2021 - 4:15:34 PM



Pierre Jéhannin, Meghan Craughwell, Loukman Omarjee, Alan Donnelly, Vincent Jaquinandi, et al.. A systematic review of lower extremity electrical stimulation for treatment of walking impairment in peripheral artery disease. Vascular Medicine, SAGE Publications, 2020, 25 (4), pp.354-363. ⟨10.1177/1358863X20902272⟩. ⟨hal-02564915⟩



Record views