Evaluation of Radio-femoral delay


The use of palpation to simultaneously evaluate the radial and femoral pulses in an attempt to determine any delay and/or discrepancy.

Test procedure:

With your patient lying supine, locate the anterior superior iliac spine and the pubic symphysis. These two points are connected by the inguinal ligament, through which runs the femoral artery. Palpate medially off proximal rectus femoris ligament (this structure is made more obvious by asking the patient to raise their leg & flex their knee) and palpate the area moving medially until you come across the pulsations of the femoral artery.

With your other hand, palate the patient’s radial artery just proximal to the carpal tunnel.

Test findings:

The radial and femoral pulses are assessed and monitored for any delay and/or significant character differences.
An appreciable delay in the femoral pulse is indicative of potential coarctation of the aorta and/or hypertension.

Special considerations:

 A radio-femoral delay warrants referral and further examinations.