ABC Medical Center > Peripheral arterial disease

What is Peripheral arterial disease?

12:16 - 9 April , 2021


This condition occurs when the blood vessels are obstructed by the existence of accumulated fatty plaques on the walls (atherosclerosis). By narrowing the vessels, the correct distribution of blood to the rest of the body is inhibited, particularly to the limbs, with the risk of clots forming that can cause death of muscle tissues.

Today, this disease causes a large number of strokes and heart attacks globally.

Signs and symptoms Peripheral arterial disease

  • Changes in the tonality of the limbs. 
  • Sexual impotence in men.
  • Weak arms and legs.
  • Bad healing.
  • Cold in hands and feet.
  • Thickened and cloudy toenails.
  • Fragile and sagging skin or slow growth of body hair.

Main causes:

  • Disorders such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
  • Diseases such as Raynaud’s, chronic venous insufficiency, and deep venous thrombosis.
  • Sedentary lifestyle.
  • A high-fat and high-cholesterol diet.
  • Overweight and obesity.
  • Old age.
  • Smoking and drinking excessively.


It is possible to prevent it if you change your lifestyle and acquire healthy habits:  

  • Quit smoking.
  • Take care of your glucose level.
  • Do sports on a regular basis.
  • Check your blood pressure.
  • Lower your cholesterol
  • Avoid foods with saturated fat.
  • Do not drink alcohol.

Diagnosis and treatment Peripheral arterial disease

In addition to a physical examination and a review of the patient’s medical history, the diagnosis may require additional studies. 

Some of the main studies are: 

  • Angiography to visualize blockage in blood vessels.
  • Lipid profile to measure cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood.
  • Ultrasound to check blood flow.
  • Angiography and stress test to see how the heart is working. 

Treatment options:

Its goal is to control symptoms, stop their progression, and lower your chances of having a heart attack or stroke. 

Your ABC doctor will determine the specific treatment based on:

  • Your age, general health, and medical history.
  • Current state of the disease and expectations of it.
  • Tolerance to certain medications, procedures, or therapies.

Treatment can include significant changes in your lifestyle, the incorporation of drugs to remove plaque in blood vessels and improve circulation, or interventions such as vascular surgery or angioplasty that improve blood flow.

In addition to the chosen treatment, your ABC doctor will recommend a series of daily exercises to improve your physical condition and your cardiovascular health.

At the Cardiovascular Center we offer you a wide range of prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and follow-up services to take care of you through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary care model. Come to us, we want to hear your heart.


  • fundación mexicana del corazón
  • sociedad española de cardiología
  • Criqui MH, Aboyans V. Epidemiology of peripheral artery disease. Circ Res. 2015 [acceso 27/01/2020]; 116:1509-26. Disponible en:
  • Fowkes FG, Rudan D, Rudan I. Comparison of global estimates of prevalence and risk factors for peripheral artery disease in 2000 and 2010: a systematic review and analysis. Lancet. 2013;382(9901):1329-40. DOI:
  • García GY, Guerra FL, Domínguez AE, et al. Enfermedad arterial periférica asintomática en personas con diabetes de tipo 2. Revista Cubana de Angiología y Cirugía Vascular. 2020;21(3):1-19.

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    The dissemination of the content of this material is for informational purposes only and does not replace, under any circumstance or condition, a consultation with a specialist doctor, for which the ABC Medical Center is not responsible for the different use that may be given to it. If you require more information related to the subject, we suggest you contact the specialist doctor you trust directly.