What is peripheral arterial disease?
Peripheral arterial disease is a chronic disease where atheromas and cholesterol plaques form in the limbs’ arteries or blood flow decreases.
These plaques’ growth is generally gradual.
Peripheral artery disease is generally common and affects a large number of people. It is more common in patients older than 65 years, but it can occur at any age.
Peripheral Arterial Disease Risk Factors
Smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and triglycerides, diabetes, kidney failure, and obesity can increase the risk of this disease.
Peripheral Arterial Disease Symptoms
Intermittent claudication, this term refers to tiredness, fatigue, pain, and cramps in the calf, thigh, or hip muscles that can be a sign of peripheral arterial disease. It generally occurs during physical activity and as the obstruction is greater the symptoms occur at shorter distances.
Another symptom can be pain in the toes while resting. If this happens, it means that the disease is already in its advanced stages.
Other symptoms are ulcers at the toes or at the skin at the level of the foot, heels, or ankles that do not heal.
An ulcer can progress to gangrene so these require immediate attention.
Peripheral Arterial Disease Diagnosis
Causes of peripheral arterial disease include smoking, high cholesterol and triglycerides, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.
This disease is diagnosed through a clinical history and a good physical examination.
Some simple tests such as the arm-ankle index, which means checking the blood pressure on the arm and the leg and comparing them to each other.
A 1.0 index is normal, that is, the pressure of the arm and the leg are the same.
As this index decreases from one, the degree of Severe Arterial Disease is greater.
Other forms of diagnosis are arterial duplex of the pelvic limbs, CT angiography, MRI, and the possibility of angiography, which is a process whereby contrast medium is injected at the leg artery and the obstruction zones are visualized.
Treatment for peripheral arterial disease
Sometimes the treatment can also be performed endovascularly using guides and balloons to dilate these lesions and, in some cases, a stent can be placed.
How to prevent peripheral arterial disease
Do not smoke, exercise regularly, and control risk factors for diseases such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and triglycerides, and diabetes.
Lose weight and keep a balanced diet low in fat and sodium.
At the Cardiovascular Center, we offer you a wide range of diagnoses, timely treatment, and follow-up services to take care of your arteries and veins.
Dr. Salomón Cohen Mussali – Vascular and Endovascular Surgery specialist at ABC Medical Center.