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Peripheral vascular Disease

Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) is a condition, in which a build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries which reduces the inner diameter of the vessel and restricts blood supply. It's also known as Peripheral arterial disease (PAD).

Symptoms of peripheral vascular disease:

Many people with PVD have no symptoms. However, some develop a pain in their legs when they walk, which usually disappears after a few minutes' rest. The medical term for this is "intermittent claudication". The pain can be mild or of severe variety, but typically is relieved on rest.

When the disease worsens, the pain persists even on rest. This is called “Rest pain”.

Other signs and symptoms of this disease are a result of decreased blood supply to the tissues :

  • hair loss on your legs and feet with shiny skin

  • numbness or weakness in the legs, burning pain in the foot

  • brittle, slow-growing toenails

  • ulcers (open sores) on your feet and legs, which don't heal

  • changing skin colour on your legs, such as turning pale or blue

  • erectile dysfunction, in men

  • the muscles in your legs shrinking (wasting).

The disease usually progresses slowly, however sometimes it may create complications for which emergency treatment may be required.

Complications of PVD:

PAD isn't immediately life-threatening, but the process of atherosclerosis that causes it can lead to serious and potentially fatal problems. The process of atherosclerosis usually affects all the arteries of the body at varying levels of involvement.

  • Critical limb ischemia: rest pain, gangrene, tissue loss

  • Coronary heart disease (CHD)- heart attack

Symptoms of CLI include:

  1. Rest pain : a severe burning pain in your legs and feet that continues even when you're resting

  2. Your skin turning pale, shiny, smooth and dry

  3. wounds and ulcers (open sores) on your feet and legs that don't heal

  4. skinny legs: loss of muscle mass in your legs

  5. skin on your toes or lower limbs becoming cold and numb,

  6. skin on toes may turn black, and/or beginning to swell and produce foul-smelling pus, causing severe pain (gangrene)

See How IR can play a role in PVD...

Angioplasty by interventional Radiologist Dr Ashish Sarode for peripheral vascular disease
Angioplasty of popliteal artery occlusion in peripheral vascular disease


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