Peripheral Artery Disease

Description

What is peripheral artery disease?
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a disease of the blood vessels in areas outside your heart. Also called peripheral vascular disease (PVD), this serious circulation problem affects arteries that carry blood to your arms and legs.

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Causes and Risk Factors

What are the causes and risk factors of peripheral artery disease?
This serious circulation problem can result from atherosclerosis, inflammatory processes leading to stenosis, an embolism, or thrombus formation. Those at the highest risk of PAD are over the age of 50, with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and stroke.

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Symptoms

What are the symptoms of peripheral artery disease?
PAD may cause a dull, cramping pain in the legs, hips or buttocks when you exercise, that stops when you rest. This is a classic PAD symptom called claudication. 

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Diagnosis

How is peripheral artery disease diagnosed?
The most common test for PAD is the ankle brachial index (ABI), a painless exam the uses ultrasound images to measure blood pressure in the feet and arms. 

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Treatment

How is peripheral artery disease treated?
Doctors may prescribe medications, life-style changes, and procedures like angioplasty and stenting to open blocked vessels. 

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