Vascular Occlusion Overview
What is a vascular occlusion?
A person with a vascular occlusion has a blocked blood vessel, caused by a blood clot in an artery. Arteries carry oxygenated blood from the heart to the rest of the body. The blockage interrupts the flow of blood to the tissue supplied by the artery. The tissue starts to die when it does not receive oxygen and nutrients from the blood. Vascular occlusion is more common in those who have atherosclerosis.
What are the symptoms of a vascular occlusion?
Symptoms of a vascular occlusion include pain, numbness, weakness, and paleness of the part of the body that receives blood from the artery. Symptoms of a vascular occlusion in a leg or arm also include an absent pulse in the foot or wrist.
How does the doctor treat a vascular occlusion?
Treatment for a vascular occlusion includes thrombolytic therapy to dissolve the clot, angioplasty to remove the clot, or bypass surgery.
- Baumgartner I, Schainfeld R, Graziani L. Management of peripheral vascular disease. Annu Rev Med. 2005;56:249-72. 
- Burns DM. Epidemiology of smoking-induced cardiovascular disease. Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2003 Jul-Aug;46(1):11-29. 
- Dillavou E, Kahn MB. Peripheral vascular disease. Diagnosing and treating the 3 most common peripheral vasculopathies. Geriatrics. 2003 Feb;58(2):37-42. 
- 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. 
- Standridge JB. Hypertension and atherosclerosis: clinical implications from the ALLHAT Trial. Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2005 Mar;7(2):132-9. 
- 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.