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Peripheral Vascular

What is Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD)? Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) refers to diseases of the blood vessels (arteries and veins) located outside the heart and brain. While there are many causes of peripheral vascular disease, doctors commonly use the term peripheral vascular disease to refer to peripheral artery disease (peripheral arterial disease, PAD), a condition that develops when the arteries that supply oxygen-rich blood to the internal organs, arms, and legs become completely or partially blocked as a result of atherosclerosis. Peripheral vascular disease is a manifestation of systemic atherosclerosis that leads to significant narrowing of arteries distal to the arch of the aorta. The most common symptom of peripheral vascular disease is intermittent claudication. At other times, peripheral vascular disease leads to acute or critical limb ischemia.

Screening and Primary Prevention

  • To date, no studies have attempted to document reductions in morbidity and mortality that result from screening for PVD in primary care. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has recommended against routine screening for peripheral arterial disease.
  • Primary prevention of PVD consists of encouraging smoking cessation. Smoking cessation also is recommended for the prevention of coronary artery disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, stroke, and lung cancer.

Diagnosis :- The differential diagnosis of PVD includes musculoskeletal and neurologic causes. The most common entity that mimics PVD is spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis can cause compression of the cauda equina, which results in pain that radiates down both legs. The pain occurs with walking (i.e., pseudoclaudication) or prolonged standing and does not subside rapidly with rest. Additional conditions to consider are acute embolism, deep or superficial venous thrombosis, restless legs syndrome, systemic vasculitides, nocturnal leg cramps, muscle or tendon strains, peripheral neuropathy, and arthritides