PAD (Peripheral artery disease)

Dr. Ayush PandeyMBBS,PG Diploma

December 16, 2020

December 16, 2020

PAD
PAD

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition in which the arteries that supply oxygen-rich to various parts of the body are narrowed due to the build-up of cholesterol in the lumen. The arteries of legs and pelvis are most commonly affected. It can be life-threatening if left untreated, as it can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

PAD is one of the most common forms of peripheral vascular disease (or PVD). Peripheral vascular disease is an umbrella term that captures problems both the arteries and the veins (the blood vessels that take oxygen-poor blood back to the heart). Other types of PVD include:

  • Chronic venous insufficiency, indicating a problem with the walls or the valves of the veins
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), caused by a blood clot somewhere in the veins of the peripheries
  • Thrombophlebitis, in which inflammation and blood clots in the veins affect the peripheries, mostly the legs
  • Varicose veins: The veins swell up and can become painful as the blood does not flow properly and starts collecting/pooling in places.

As the name suggests, peripheral artery disease affects blood flow to the peripheries, typically the legs. Read on to know all about peripheral artery disease symptoms, peripheral artery disease causes, peripheral artery disease diagnosis and peripheral artery disease treatment.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) symptoms

Most often no symptoms are not experienced. But the following symptoms may be experienced in some cases:

  • Numbness and pain in the legs
  • Reduced speed of healing of wounds of legs or sometimes failure to heal
  • Pale or bluish skin
  • Reduced nail growth on toe
  • Reduced hair growth on legs
  • A difference in temperature of both the legs
  • Erectile dysfunction

Read more: What is claudication?

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) causes

Atherosclerosis is the major cause of PAD (peripheral artery disease) due to which cholesterol build-up occurs in the blood vessel. Other factors that may lead to PAD are:

Read more: How much activity per week do I need?

PAD (Peripheral artery disease) diagnosis

The diagnosis of PAD involves the following:

  • Preliminary tests
  • Study of detailed medical history
  • Physical examination, e.g., ankle-brachial index
  • Further tests: Toe-tip treadmill exercise tests
  • Magnetic resonance angiogram: A type of MRI scan to look at the blood vessels of the body
  • Computed tomography angiography: A types of CT scan
  • Peripheral angiogram
  • Doppler ultrasound

PAD (Peripheral artery disease) treatment

Treatment includes lifestyle changes, medications or a combination of both. If the condition has progressed to a stage where medicines do not work, surgery may be suggested.

The lifestyle changes include:

Medications prescribed include:

  • Medicines to lower the cholesterol levels
  • Antiplatelets to prevent clotting of blood
  • Medicines to manage high blood pressure

Surgical procedures to treat PVD are:

  • Atherectomy: removal of plaque or blood clot
  • Bypass: creating an alternate path for blood supply by attaching a graft of a healthy blood vessel
  • Balloon angioplasty


Doctors for PAD (Peripheral artery disease)

Dr. Peeyush Jain Dr. Peeyush Jain Cardiology
34 Years of Experience
Dr. Dinesh Kumar Mittal Dr. Dinesh Kumar Mittal Cardiology
15 Years of Experience
Dr. Vinod Somani Dr. Vinod Somani Cardiology
27 Years of Experience
Dr. Vinayak Aggarwal Dr. Vinayak Aggarwal Cardiology
27 Years of Experience
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