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Atherosclerotic Vascular Disease

Atherosclerotic Vascular Disease affects nearly 10% of the population over the age of 65 years. It is noticed more commonly among men. Atherosclerotic vascular disease is probably one of the most common causes for death and disability.

Atherosclerotic peripheral vascular disease is a condition where there is a build-up of plaque in the arteries outside the heart. The thickened arteries constrict the flow of blood. This leads to inadequate supply of oxygen to all parts of the body. The mortality rate for this vascular disease is high and there is possibility of loss of limb too. Typically the limbs, kidneys and neck are affected. The symptoms of atherosclerotic peripheral vascular disease include numbness and tingling feeling in the limbs, sores that do not heal and dull, cramping pain in the hips or thighs. Claudication or pain in the lower extremity muscles is a common symptom. Smoking increases chances of peripheral atherosclerotic vascular disease. Other risk factors for atherosclerotic vascular disease are obesity, coronary heart disease and lack of exercise.


ABI (Ankle/Branchial Index) is a popular test that helps in detecting atherosclerotic vascular disease. Angiography is a special x-ray that helps in tracking artery blockages and narrowing. Ultrasonography and MRI aid the physician in non-invasive diagnosis of atherosclerotic vascular Disease. Simple tips to keep atherosclerotic vascular disease at bay:

  • Maintain healthy weight
  • Keep high blood pressure and high cholesterol under control
  • Control diabetes

Angioplasty is used to enlarge blocked arteries without surgery. But it is not a permanent solution. Medications such as Pentoxifylline (Trental) and Cilostazol (Pletal) are used to treat atherosclerotic vascular disease. They help in reducing blood viscosity. Surgery is resorted to when the arteries are blocked considerably. Bypass surgeryis a surgical procedure whereby the affected artery is bypassed so that blood flow is restored.

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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: October 19, 2017