Buerger's Disease Evaluation
The evaluation of Buerger's disease begins with a history and physical examination.
Initially, there are no abnormal physical findings in those with Buerger's disease.
Over time, physical findings in those with Buerger's disease may include:
- Cool toes or fingers
- Diminished or absent pulses
- Diminished sensation
- Loss of hair on the leg or legs
- Muscle atrophy
- Pale skin
- Poorly healing skin wounds or ulcers
- Thin skin
Severe Buerger's disease may cause a sudden blockage of the blood flow in an artery that supplies the leg.
Physical findings of a sudden blockage in a leg artery may include:
- Absent pulses
- Cold foot and toes
- Leg numbness (unilateral)
- Obvious severe pain
- Tenderness to touch
- Toes may be pale, blue or very dark
- Very pale leg below the blockage
- Weakness of the foot or toes
Tests are necessary to determine the severity of Buerger's disease.
Tests that may be used to evaluate Buerger's disease include:
- Ankle-brachial index:
- Looks for different blood pressures in the arms and legs
- A very specific x-ray dye study of various arteries, such as:
- Leg arteriogram
- Pelvic arteriogram
- Renal arteriogram
- Doppler duplex ultrasound or angiodynography
- MRI scan of the legs
- Diagnosis is made by tissue biopsy (specimen) of the affected blood vessel.
- Serum cholesterol
- Glucose tolerance testing
Continue to Buerger's Disease Treatment
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- Bozkurt AK, Besirli K, Koksal C, Sirin G, Yuceyar L, Tuzun H, Sayin AG. Surgical treatment of Buerger's disease. Vascular. 2004 May-Jun;12(3):192-7. 
- Cooper LT, Tse TS, Mikhail MA, et al. Long-term survival and amputation risk in thromboangiitis obliterans (Buerger's disease). J Am Coll Cardiol. 2004 Dec 21;44(12):2410-1. 
- Naito AT, Minamino T, Tateno K, Nagai T, Komuro I. Steroid-responsive thromboangiitis obliterans. Lancet. 2004 Sep 18-24;364(9439):1098.