What is Vascular Disease?
Peripheral arteries carry blood to the extremities, such as the legs and arms. When these blood vessels become clogged with fatty deposits or plaques, the passageway narrows. The medical name for this hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis) is peripheral vascular disease
(PVD) or peripheral arterial disease
This condition decreases the blood flow to the nerves and tissues, affecting eight to 12 million Americans with pain in the legs, ulcers, wounds that will not heal and even more serious complications.What are the Risk Factors?
Vascular disease can develop in anyone, but people with the following conditions may be at greatest risk:
High blood pressure
Smoking or history of smoking
Family history of heart or vascular disease
Age, generally over 50How Is It Diagnosed?
If you have symptoms or are at risk for peripheral vascular disease, talk with your physician. After your visit, your physician may recommend you see a vascular surgeon and undergo testing to diagnose vascular blockages.
These tests include:
ABI (ankle brachial index)
Doppler and duplex ultrasound imaging
Magnetic resonance angiogram (MRA)
Regular (catheter-based) angiogram