Annie Collum, BSN, RN is the RIA Senior Manager, Physician Liaison in Denver, Colorado
September 1, 2020health, PAD, peripheral artery disease
Peripheral Artery Disease Awareness Month
Peripheral artery disease, or PAD, refers to arterial disease that occurs outside of the heart or brain. In PAD, the arteries that carry oxygenated blood throughout the body become narrowed or even blocked, usually as a result of atherosclerosis, or plaque.
PAD most commonly affects the arteries in the legs, but it also can involve arteries that carry blood to the head, arms, kidneys and gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
Many people with PAD have mild or no symptoms; others experience occasional claudication, or leg pain when walking. The severity of intermittent claudication varies from mild to debilitating. Other PAD symptoms include sores or ulcers that don’t heal and persistent coldness in the feet and lower legs.
Among the risk factors for PAD are diabetes, smoking, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Most cases occur in people older than 50.
Several imaging tests can be used to diagnose PAD:
Vascular ultrasound. This exam uses sound waves to create pictures of the arteries and locate blockages.
Doppler ultrasound: Doppler ultrasound is a special ultrasound technique that can help detect areas of restricted blood flow through an artery.
Catheter angiography: This minimally invasive imaging exam relies on a contrast agent and x-rays to show blood flow in the arteries in the legs and to pinpoint any blockages that may be present. The contrast agent is injected through a tube or catheter that is usually placed through a blood vessel in the groin.
CT angiography (CTA): CT angiography uses a CT scanner to produce detailed views of the arteries in your abdomen, pelvis and legs. This test is particularly useful in patients with pacemakers or stents.
MR angiography (MRA): MR angiography is a noninvasive test that gives information similar to that of a CT without the ionizing radiation.
Article taken from radiologyinfo.org.
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