Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Peripheral Artery Disease Overview

Another name for Peripheral Artery Disease is Peripheral Vascular Disease.

What is peripheral vascular disease?
A person with peripheral vascular disease has damage to the arteries that supply the legs and feet. Symptoms occur when the arteries are unable to provide enough oxygen to meet the demand of the tissues. Peripheral vascular disease is caused by atherosclerosis.

What are the symptoms of peripheral vascular disease?
The initial symptoms of peripheral vascular disease include leg pain or foot pain that worsens with activity, feet that are cool to touch, numbness and tingling in the legs and feet, slow wound healing, and weak pulses in the feet. Additional symptoms of worsening peripheral vascular disease include foot swelling, leg swelling, skin ulcers and varicose veins.

How does the doctor treat peripheral vascular disease?
Treatment for peripheral vascular disease may include avoiding smoking, a low fat diet, a low cholesterol diet, weight loss, blood thinner medications, aspirin, thrombolytic medications, and surgery.

Continue to Peripheral Artery Disease Incidence

Last Updated: Aug 20, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Peripheral Artery Disease References
  1. Baumgartner I, Schainfeld R, Graziani L. Management of peripheral vascular disease. Annu Rev Med. 2005;56:249-72. [15660512]
  2. Burns DM. Epidemiology of smoking-induced cardiovascular disease. Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2003 Jul-Aug;46(1):11-29. [12920698]
  3. Dillavou E, Kahn MB. Peripheral vascular disease. Diagnosing and treating the 3 most common peripheral vasculopathies. Geriatrics. 2003 Feb;58(2):37-42. [12596496]
  4. Fine JJ, Hall PA, Richardson JH. Predictive power of cardiovascular risk factors for detecting peripheral vascular disease. South Med J. 2004 Oct;97(10):951-4. [15558920]
  5. Standridge JB. Hypertension and atherosclerosis: clinical implications from the ALLHAT Trial. Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2005 Mar;7(2):132-9. [15727729]
  6. Sukhija R, Yalamanchili K, Aronow WS, Kakar P, Babu S. Clinical characteristics, risk factors, and medical treatment of 561 patients with peripheral arterial disease followed in an academic vascular surgery clinic. Cardiol Rev. 2005 Mar-Apr;13(2):108-10. [15705262]
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