Peripheral Vascular Disease

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Peripheral Vascular Disease
Peripheral Vascular Disease is a condition of the blood vessels that leads to narrowing and hardening of the arteries that supply the legs and feet. “It is estimated that peripheral vascular disease affects 30 percent of the adult population, and two-thirds of all cases are asymptomatic” (PubMed 1998). This paper will talk about the anatomy and physiology, etiology and pathophysiology, signs and symptoms, diagnostic and laboratory tests, and treatments about this disease.

Peripheral vascular disease is commonly located in the arteries of the lower extremities which include the femoral artery, iliac artery, popliteal artery, and tibial artery (emedicine 2010). The leading cause is from fatty material buildup within the vessels. This disease slowly inhibits the vessel walls causing them to be blocked, narrowed, or weakened (WebMD 2010). Other causes could be blood clots which block the blood vessels in the thrombus or emboli. Another is diabetes, because diabetes damages the blood vessels and make them become narrowed or weakened. Also inflammation of the arteries narrow and weaken the vessels. Several autoimmune conditions can develop vasculitis, and besides the arteries, other organ systems are also affected (WebMD 2010). Infections like syphilis and salmonellosis are known to infect and damage blood vessels. Structural defects occur at birth. A disease called Takayasu affects Asian females it affects the upper vessels of the body (WebMD 2010). Lastly, any injury to damage the blood vessels can cause peripheral vascular disease.

There are many signs and symptoms here are a few, pain in the calves, thighs, and hips, cramping in the legs, and leg or foot sores. Pain in the legs occurs while walking or climbing up stairs because the muscles’ need for blood increases during exercise. “The narrowed or blocked arteries cannot supply more blood, so the muscles are deprived of oxygen and other nutrients” (WebMD 2010). Cramping in the...
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