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Peripheral artery disease, also called PAD, includes a group of diseases that cause a narrowing of the arteries that are outside of the brain and heart. The most common areas of the body affected by peripheral artery disease include the legs and the pelvis, especially the kidneys.
There are two general underlying causes of peripheral artery disease. These include diseases in which blood vessels are narrowed by intermittent blood vessel spasms, such as Raynaud's phenomenon and Raynaud's disease. The other type of peripheral artery disease is caused by narrowing of the arteries by atherosclerosis, a build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries.
A steady supply of oxygen and nutrients are critical to the health of the cells and tissues of the body. Narrowing of the arteries that occurs in peripheral artery disease interferes with this supply. This is called ischemia. In ischemia, cells are unable to reproduce normally, recover effectively from injury, and fight infection. This can lead to the complications of peripheral artery disease, such as the development of sores or lesions that do not heal, and infection. If peripheral artery disease is left untreated, gangrene (death of the tissues) can occur.
When peripheral artery disease affect the arteries that supply blood to the kidneys, it is called renal artery stenosis. Complications of renal stenosis include abnormal kidney function and kidney failure. Symptoms of peripheral artery disease vary depending on the underlying cause. Typical symptoms include pain in the legs with walking that goes away with rest and color changes in the fingers or toes. For more information on symptoms and complications, refer to symptoms of peripheral artery disease.
People at risk for peripheral artery disease include people with underlying diseases or behaviors that cause damage or narrowing of the blood vessels. These include smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and atherosclerosis. People with peripheral artery disease are also more likely to develop atherosclerosis and narrowing of the arteries of the brain and heart due to fatty build-up in these arteries. This dramatically increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Making a diagnosis of peripheral artery disease includes completing a thorough medical history, including symptoms, and a physical examination. If peripheral artery disease is suspected, diagnostic testing includes imaging tests, such as an ultrasound and angiogram. An angiogram reveals obstructed or narrowed arteries and can show blood flow. An angiogram may be performed on the renal arteries if renal artery stenosis is suspected. An angiogram is an invasive surgical procedure. Less invasive diagnostic options that might be done in some cases are magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) or computed tomographic angiography (a type of CT scan).
It is possible that a diagnosis of peripheral artery disease can be missed or delayed because the symptoms may be mild, assumed to be normal, and similar to symptoms of other conditions. For more information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of peripheral artery disease.
If caught early, peripheral artery disease can often be successfully treated before the development of complications. Treatment varies depending on the specific type of peripheral artery disease. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of peripheral artery disease....more »
Peripheral artery disease frequently goes undiagnosed until complications occur. In addition, symptoms of peripheral artery disease are similar to and often mistaken for symptoms of other conditions and diseases, such as aging, excessive exercise, fatigue, peripheral neuropathy, leg cramps, dehydration, and electrolyte imbalance. ...more misdiagnosis »
The following medical conditions are some of the possible
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The most effective treatment plan for peripheral artery disease employs a multifaceted approach. This includes preventive care aimed at minimizing the risk factors and underlying causes of peripheral artery disease. Preventive measures include regular medical care to monitor and treat high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, hypertension and ...Intermittent claudication Treatments
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Lameness due to pain in leg muscles because the blood supply is inadequate; pain subsides with rest
- (Source - WordNet 2.1)
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Medical Conditions associated with Intermittent claudication:
Pain symptoms (6458 causes), Sensory symptoms (7134 causes), Nerve symptoms (9132 causes), Neurological symptoms (9575 causes), Muscle symptoms (7251 causes), Exercise symptoms (1392 causes), Leg symptoms (2751 causes), Limb symptoms (3592 causes), Movement symptoms (6001 causes), Sensations (6520 causes), Brain symptoms (2787 causes), Musculoskeletal symptoms (6264 causes), Arm symptoms (1619 causes), Common symptoms (8589 causes), Body symptoms (5672 causes), Head symptoms (10192 causes), Blood vessel symptoms (480 causes)
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