Arterial Occlusive Disease
What is Arterial Occlusive Disease ?
Arteria occlusive disease is an obstruction or narrowing of the lumen of the aorta and its major branches, which interrupts blood flow, usually to the legs and feet.
Arterial occlusive disease may affect the carotid, vertebral, innominate, subclavian, mesenteric, and celiac arteries. Arterial occlusive disease is more common in males than in females. The prognosis depends on the location of the occlusion, the development of collateral circulation to counteract reduced blood flow and, in acute disease, the time elapsed between the development of the occlusion and its removal.
Causes of Arterial Occlusive Disease
Arterial occlusive disease is a common complication of atherosclerosis.Predisposing factors include smoking; aging; conditions such as hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes mellitus; and family history of vascular disorders, myocardial infarction, or cerebrovascular accident.
Arteriography demonstrates the type, location, and degree of obstruction and the establishment of collateral circulation. It's particularly useful in chronic disease or for evaluating candidates for reconstructive surgery.
Ultrasonography and plethysmography are noninvasive tests that, in acute disease, show decreased blood flow distal to the occlusion.
Doppler ultrasonography typically reveals a relatively low-pitched sound and a monophasic waveform.
Segmental limb pressures and pulse volume measurements help evaluate the location and extent of the occlusion.
The treatment of arterial occlusive disease depends on the cause and the area affected. Persons who smoke should stop. Diabetes needs to be kept under control. If the disease is caused by cholesterol, patients should reduce the fats in their diet. Medicines may be prescribed for other causes.
Sometimes surgery is used to treat blocked arteries. During surgery, another blood vessel or a piece of tubing is used to bypass the blockage. After the surgery, it is very important for patients to try to change any unhealthy behaviors that led to blocked arteries.
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