Document Detail

Early diagnosis of peripheral arterial disease can save limbs.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23214272     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Process    
Prompt identification and management of patients with peripheral arterial disease can improve quality of life, save limbs and reduce cardiovascular events. The most common initial symptom is leg pain on exertion or intermittent claudication. More severe or critical limb ischaemia can present with pain at rest, ulceration, tissue loss and/or gangrene, In most patients the symptoms remain stable, but approximately 20% will develop limb threatening critical ischaemia. The incidence of peripheral arterial disease increases with age and up to 20% of people aged over 60 are affected to some degree. The incidence is also high in smokers, diabetes patients, and those with coronary disease. A focused history should identify the presence and severity of intermittent claudication and any critical limb ischaemia. Examination should concentrate on the palpation of lower limb arterial pulses and look for signs of critical ischaemia such as ulceration. The key primary care investigation in suspected peripheral arterial disease is measurement of the ankle brachial pressure index. Lifestyle interventions are a key component of management. NICE recommends that a supervised exercise programme is offered to all patients with intermittent claudication. Pharmacological therapy should always include an antiplatelet agent and statin. Vasoactive drugs such as naftidrofuryl oxalate should be considered for symptom control in intermittent claudication when exercise has not led to a satisfactory improvement and the patient prefers not to be referred for revascularisation. Patients with severe and inadequately controlled symptoms should be referred to secondary care with a view to further imaging to assess the appropriateness of revascularisation.
Peter Savill
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Practitioner     Volume:  256     ISSN:  0032-6518     ISO Abbreviation:  Practitioner     Publication Date:  2012 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-12-10     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0404245     Medline TA:  Practitioner     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  19-21, 2-3     Citation Subset:  IM    
Watercress Medical, Medstead.
Export Citation:
APA/MLA Format     Download EndNote     Download BibTex
MeSH Terms

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

Previous Document:  Identifying patients at risk of sudden arrhythmic death.
Next Document:  Be vigilant for scurvy in high-risk groups.