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Artery symptoms Assessment Questionnaire

Questions Your Doctor May Ask - and Why!

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Artery symptoms. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.

Create your printable checklist by answering questions that your doctor may ask below:

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  1. What symptoms have you been experiencing? Symptoms arising from arterial disease can be quite general, and it is best for you to begin with exactly what has brought you to see your health professional today
  2. Have you experienced any pain?

    Why: Arterial dysfunction can result in pain, which can be quite severe. Severe arterial occlusion as a result of vascular disease can be felt as constant excruciating pain.

  3. Have you experienced any pain in your peripheries, particularly when they have gotten cold?

    Why: Raynaud's syndrome results in a predictable and unpleasant progression of symptoms of your peripheries in response to cold or to emotion. First your fingers/toes may become very pale, then bluish, then finally red and painful.

  4. Do you ever notice that your feet or hands are particularly or unusually cool/cold, especially at night?

    Why: This can be a symptom of arterial or vascular disease, as there is diminished and abnormal blood flow to your peripheral tissues (hands, feet).

  5. Have you ever suffered or been diagnosed with ischemic heart disease, myocardial infarction/heart attack, or angina/chest pain?

    Why: These can be symptoms of arterial disease, and can also cause or predispose you to a wide variety of arterial symptoms.

  6. Have you ever experienced or been diagnosed with cerebrovascular disease, cerebrovascular attack/stroke, transient ischemic attack, renal disease/renal failure/renal artery stenosis or carotid artery disease?

    Why: Whilst potentially being symptoms of arterial disease, these can also raise your health professional's suspicion of your symptoms being related some form of arterial dysfunction.

  7. Have you ever been diagnosed with or tested for diabetes mellitus/impaired glucose tolerance?

    Why: Diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance are more and less severe forms of the same condition, and are relatively common. They can affect many different body systems, including your arteries. If you do have this condition then it can dramatically increase your risk of experiencing symptoms as a result of arterial disease.

  8. Do you ever experience pain, cramps, ache, tightness, tingling or weakness that comes on with exercise and is relieved by rest? If so, where?

    Why: Peripheral vascular disease can result in arterial symptoms such as these, as leg or claudication pain occurs with exercise such as walking. It is important for you to also describe the distribution of your symptoms as they can reflect the seriousness of your peripheral vascular disease, or the artery/location in which it is predominantly occurring. You may feel these symptoms in either or both of your calves, hips/buttocks, thighs, or even rarely in your arms.

  9. How far can you walk at present, and if you have to stop, what stops you?

    Why: Whilst this may not sound like an arterial symptom, it can actually indicate that you are experiencing peripheral vascular disease. The distance that you can walk before your arterial symptoms prevent your from walking further can act as a guide to the level of functional disability you are experiencing and the severity of the disease you currently have. For the particular severity of disease that you are experiencing, you may have a very constant, unchanging and specific level of exercise tolerance.

  10. Do you smoke or have you ever smoked cigarettes?

    Why: The smoking of cigarettes can result in disease or dysfunction of many body systems, sometimes many years later. One such effect is arterial disease, and cigarette smoking may cause your health professional to suspect your symptoms to be arterial in nature. An example of one arterial disease potentially caused by smoking cigarettes is atherosclerosis which is thought to be one of the main disease processes resulting in a wide variety of vascular disease. Another example is thromboangiitis obliterans (Buerger's disease) which causes peripheral arteries to slowly narrow and occlude resulting in debilitating arterial symptoms which may require amputation to be considered.

  11. Do you ever wake from sleep with pain in your legs or experience leg pain when your legs are persistently raised (sitting in a recliner, lying on a bed)? Is this pain relieved by your hanging your feet by the side of your bed or lowering them below the level of your waist?

    Why: Rest pain is an arterial symptom which may indicate quite advanced peripheral vascular disease, and occurs when your legs are raised close to or above the level of your waist. Having your legs persistently high decreases the effect of gravity in assisting blood flow to your legs and feet. This results in pain and arterial symptoms as a result of lack of blood flow. This is why the pain may be relieved when the legs are lowered and so gravity can cause increased blood flow.

  12. Have you noticed any change in the hair or skin on your legs?

    Why: A decrease in leg hair and unusually shiny or smooth skin may sound like completely unrelated symptoms to peripheral vascular disease, however they can occur as arterial symptoms with such conditions which cause decreased peripheral blood flow.

  13. Have you noticed any changes in your toe nails?

    Why: Peripheral vascular disease can result in thickened or brittle nails as symptoms of arterial disease.

  14. Have you ever had any skin ulcers, and if so, where?

    Why: Whilst skin ulcers can be the result of other causes, they may also be symptoms of arterial disease as the blood supply to an area of skin may be decreased. The distribution of any ulcers that you may currently have or have had in the past may be very important in assisting your health professional to accurately diagnose your condition. Arterial or vascular disease can result in ulcers in a different distribution than ulcers caused by other conditions.

  15. Have you or anyone in your family ever been diagnosed with hyperhomocysteinemia?

    Why: Hyperhomocysteinemia is a condition which results in an abnormally high level of a particular amino acid (homocysteine) to be present in your blood. Recent research has indicated that it may increase your risk of vascular disease and so its present or diagnosis may increase the likelihood that your symptoms are arterial or vascular in nature. It is also a condition which may be genetically inheritable and may tend to run in families.

  16. Have you or any of your family ever been diagnosed with hypertension or high blood pressure?

    Why: Hypertension is an important risk factor for many different forms of vascular disease which can result in you experiencing symptoms secondary to arterial dysfunction/disease. There is a tendency for hypertension to be more common in those who have relatives previously diagnosed with it, however its inheritance is not yet adequately understood.

  17. Have you or anyone in your family ever been diagnosed with high cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia) or high blood lipids (hyperlipidemia)?

    Why: A high or abnormal level of cholesterol or lipid present in your blood can predispose you to developing vascular disease and arterial symptoms. There are several specific inheritable syndromes in which individuals within a family have abnormal levels or ratios of blood lipids. For most people however, their blood lipids are influenced mainly by their diet and exercise patterns.

  18. Do you think that you currently are, or have in the past been overweight or obese?

    Why: Being overweight or obese may increase your risk of having vascular disease and arterial symptoms as a result of that.

  19. Has anyone in your family ever been diagnosed with peripheral vascular disease, ischemic heart disease, myocardial infarction/heart attack, angina/chest pain, cerebrovascular disease, cerebrovascular attack/stroke, transient ischemic attack, renal disease/renal failure/renal artery stenosis or carotid artery disease?

    Why: This may seem like a long list of conditions which are quite unrelated, however in fact they reflect the range of conditions which are caused by vascular disease. They may all affect different bodily symptoms, but they are all potentially caused by the same vascular disease process which may simply occur in different bodily locations. Regardless of whether or not you have been diagnosed with any of them, the presence of any of these diagnoses in any of your family members can significantly increase your risk of developing vascular disease, any of its incarnations as listed above, or symptoms as a result of arterial dysfunction/disease.

  20. Can you tell me a bit about your lifestyle, exercise routine and dietary habits?

    Why: Lifestyle factors can be important in assessing the risk that your symptoms may be the result of arterial disease/dysfunction or vascular disease. The more stress that you experience, less regular exercise you perform and less healthy that your diet is, the higher your risk of developing vascular disease and potentially, arterial symptoms.

  21. Can you tell me a bit about your family's ethnic background?

    Why: Your health professional is not asking this question to be nosy or judgmental, but rather because research has identified that different ethnic backgrounds correspond with different levels of risk for developing vascular disease and arterial symptoms. For instance, African-Americans are more likely to develop vascular disease and arterial symptoms than either Caucasians, or those of Asian or Sub-Continental ethnic backgrounds.

  22. How long have you experienced these symptoms for?

    Why: Symptoms as a result of arterial or vascular disease may slowly progress over some time, or they may appear to begin quite suddenly. In either case their presence may be taken seriously by your health professional as the underlying vascular disease slowly but constantly worsens over time. The initiation of treatment of a management strategy as early as possible can be extremely important in assisting you to maintain your quality of life for as long as possible and to prevent the slow worsening of the vascular disease or arterial symptoms.

  23. Have you noticed any change in the colour of your skin in any particular areas?

    Why: One particular arterial symptom which can result from vascular disease is a change in the colour of your skin in areas of impaired arterial blood supply. This occurs most frequently in the fingers and/or toes of those with extensive vascular disease.

  24. Have you noticed any change in the size of the muscles in your arms or legs (muscle atrophy)?

    Why: Some of your muscles such as those in your upper arms, upper legs/thigh, or calves, may decrease in size or atrophy as a result of vascular disease. This can be a subtle arterial symptom, but one which may indicate an advanced level of disease.

  25. Have you noticed any puffiness or swelling of your ankles (peripheral oedema)?

    Why: This can be a secondary symptom of arterial disease, and may occur in sever disease where patients keep their legs low for longer periods of time than usual in order to prevent/avoid rest pain.

  26. Have you had any difficulty in attaining or maintaining sexual arousal or an erection (sexual dysfunction, erectile dysfunction, impotence)?

    Why: Whilst there can be many different causes for erectile dysfunction, it can be a symptom of arterial disease or dysfunction, such as occurs in Leriche syndrome. In this syndrome there is extensive vascular disease which affects the arteries supplying the muscles in your buttock and penis, and so can result in a combination of buttock claudication pain and erectile dysfunction. It can also affect other areas of your body as well (such as your leg/s).

  27. Have you experienced any numbness, altered sensation, "pins and needles", or paraesthesia? If so, where exactly have you experienced this?

    Why: These are all caused by dysfunction of your sensory nerves, which can occur in severe arterial or vascular disease. The distribution of your abnormal sensory symptoms can be important as they may reflect different levels of severity or distributions of arterial/vascular disease. An example of this can be in anterior spinal artery syndrome where you may experience a loss of sensation of pain or temperature over certain areas of skin due to vascular disease of the arteries supplying part of your spinal cord.

  28. Have you felt that sometimes you can't perform certain movements or experienced any paralysis or muscle weakness? If so which muscles or movements are affected?

    Why: Just as your sensory nerves can be affected by severe arterial or vascular disease so can the nerves which control your muscles. Decreased blood supply to these nerves causes them to function abnormally, and you may experience this is paralysis, weakness, altered sensation, numbness or any combination of these symptoms. It is also important for you to tell your health professional in as much detail as possible which muscles or movements have been affected, as different patterns of impaired motor function can reflect different distributions of vascular disease.

  29. Do you ever experience a limp as you walk (abnormal gait)?

    Why: This may be a symptom of arterial or vascular disease, and may begin whilst the condition is not very severe.

  30. Have you ever been diagnosed with arthritis or osteoarthritis?

    Why: Whilst these are not arterial conditions, their symptoms may appear similar to those of vascular disease and so your health professional may need to exclude the possibility that they may be the condition you have presented with.

  31. Do you consume alcohol, and if so how much?

    Why: Chronic over consumption of alcohol (alcoholism) can result in symptoms which may mimic arterial symptoms, and so alcoholism needs to be ruled out before your symptoms can be diagnosed as being due to arterial or vascular disease.

  32. Have you ever been diagnosed with neuropathy, or experienced a "burning" feeling that is not related to exercise or the position of your legs?

    Why: Neuropathy is another condition which can potentially cause similar symptoms to arterial or vascular disease, and so your health professional needs to ask about it in order to make an accurate diagnosis.

  33. Have you ever experienced an embolism, arterial embolism or arterial thrombosis?

    Why: These are small clots which can form in and "block" arteries, resulting in very acute onset of arterial symptoms. They can result in sharply circumscribed areas of severe pain unrelated to exercise, paleness of an area of skin, and even numbness or focal paralysis.

  34. Have you or anyone in your family been diagnosed with blood clotting problems (coagulopathy) or a propensity to form blood clots (thrombophilia)?

    Why: There are some conditions which can predispose you to form blood clots which may affect one or more of your arteries, and so result in acute arterial symptoms.

  35. Have you ever had any miscarriages, experienced difficulties conceiving, or been diagnosed with any autoimmune disease?

    Why: Along with an abnormally increased risk of forming blood clots, these can all be symptoms of antiphospholipid syndrome. This syndrome may result in the acute arterial symptoms due to abnormal blood clot formation within an artery.

  36. Have you ever been diagnosed with any abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmia, dysrhythmia) such as atrial fibrillation, or any heart valve disease?

    Why: These are all conditions which may predispose you to the formation of an arterial embolus which can result in acute arterial symptoms.

  37. Do you or other people ever inject anything into you?

    Why: This question is designed to identify patients who use or are given non prescribed intravenous drugs (intravenous drug user). Whilst this practice aims to inject illicit drugs into veins, there may sometimes be injection into an artery which results in acute and potentially very dangerous arterial symptoms.

  38. Have you recently suffered any trauma or injuries?

    Why: Sometimes trauma or other injuries can result in damage to blood vessels such as arteries, and so may result in arterial symptoms. This can occur with lacerations, fractures, dislocations, to name a few.

  39. Have you ever noticed any skin nodules, if so, can you describe them?

    Why: Skin nodules can have many different causes, however when they occur over arteries and where arterial symptoms are also present they may be as a result of thromboangiitis obliterans (Buerger's disease).

  40. Have you been feeling well lately?

    Why: Not feeling well in general (malaise) can be an arterial symptom caused by inflammatory conditions of arteries called vasculitis.

  41. Have you experienced any fever?

    Why: Fevers can occur with vasculitis and as such they may be arterial symptoms.

  42. Have you had any aches or pains, particularly in your muscles (muscle ache/myalgia) or abdomen (abdominal pain)?

    Why: Generalised aches or pains can be experienced as arterial symptoms with vasculitis. More specifically however, abdominal pains may occur with polyarteritis nodosa (a vasculitis) and muscle aches may be the predominant symptom of polymyalgia rheumatica (a vasculitis mainly affecting the arteries in muscles).

  43. Have you ever been diagnosed with a vasculitis?

    Why: This is a broad range of conditions in which there is inflammation of your blood vessels, particularly arteries. It can result in symptoms which may be classed as arterial symptoms.

  44. Have you recently lost any weight (weight loss)?

    Why: Losing weight can be a symptom experienced with many different forms of vasculitis.

  45. Have you had any painful or aching joints (arthralgia)?

    Why: Painful joints can be caused by many conditions, however if present with certain other symptoms it may be the result of vasculitis.

  46. Have you experienced any difficulties with your vision (visual disturbance)?

    Why: Your eyesight can be affected in many different ways by arterial disease. In some forms of vasculitis you may temporarily lose vision in one eye (amaurosis fugax) as if a curtain has covered it, or you may temporarily lose one half of your field of vision despite being able to see out of both eyes (homonymous hemianopia). The latter is more likely to occur with other vascular disease such as transient ischemic attack or stroke/cerebrovascular attack.

  47. Have you experienced any tenderness on your scalp, particularly when doing things like brushing your hair (scalp tenderness)?

    Why: Temporal arteritis/giant cell arteritis is a form of vasculitis which can cause scalp tenderness along with other symptoms of arterial disease/inflammation.

  48. Have you ever noticed blood in your urine (hematuria), or your urine go a different color?

    Why: Arterial or vascular disease can interfere with the function of your kidneys. In some forms of kidney inflammation or dysfunction caused by arterial disease you may notice that the color of you urine changes and it may look like "coca cola" or appear to have blood in it.

  49. Have you ever noticed that your urine is particularly "frothy"?

    Why: This can be a sign of proteinuria which indicated kidney dysfunction. Whilst there are many potential causes for this, one that needs to be considered is arterial or vascular disease.

  50. Have you ever been diagnosed with renal failure or renal artery stenosis?

    Why: Renal failure can be caused by vascular disease such as vasculitis, and so whether or not you have had it in the past may be important for your current diagnosis and management. Renal artery stenosis is a condition directly caused by vascular disease where the arteries supplying your kidneys are diseased, and do not supply as much blood to the kidney as they otherwise should.

  51. Have you coughed up any blood (hemoptysis) or experienced any nose bleeds (epistaxis)?

    Why: Vasculitis can affect a very broad range of arteries and blood vessels in your body, including those in your lungs and nose. If experienced with other arterial symptoms, then these may be the result of vasculitis.

  52. Have you recently noticed that you are passing much less (anuria) or much more urine than usual (polyuria)?

    Why: Renal failure can be an important consequence of vasculitis or vascular disease, and anuria or polyuria can be signs of this. One vasculitis in which it occurs very frequently is polyarteritis nodosa, where it may occur in up to three quarters of patients.

  53. Have you recently experienced any odd chest pain or chest sensation?

    Why: Vascular disease can result in such things as angina or myocardial infarction. However acute vasculitis can also cause these and similar symptoms chest pain symptoms in up to 80% of sufferers. One condition felt as sharp or "different" chest pain that is relieved by leaning forward or lying flat is pericarditis, which may occur in such vasculitides as polyarteritis nodosa.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Artery symptoms:

The following list of conditions have 'Artery symptoms' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Artery symptoms or choose View All.

View All A B C D E F H K M N P R S T W X

Conditions listing medical complications: Artery symptoms:

The following list of medical conditions have 'Artery symptoms' or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.


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