Amputation may follow atherosclerosis obliterans. Avoid underestimating these conditions.

One of the most common civilizational diseases is obliterating lower limb atherosclerosis. The disease reduces blood flow to the lower limbs, causing ischemia and necrosis.

Lipids build up in the walls of the blood vessels, which leads to chronic ischemia of the lower limbs.

Atherosclerosis obliterans: what is it?

Sensory problems in the lower limbs, like numbness, prickling, tingling, and coldness, can cause claudication pain, which gets worse as you walk farther and gets better when you stop and rest.

Intermittent claudication is weakness, discomfort, or pain in affected limb muscles caused by ischemia, and the length of the distance a person can walk indicates the severity of the disease. The localization of pain depends on the location of the stenosis.

Calf pain is an often underestimated symptom of femoral artery stenosis, which is rarely associated with obliterating atherosclerosis. In advanced stages, oppressive pain in the lower limbs also occurs during rest.

Atherosclerosis obliterans: who is at risk?

People over the age of 70, especially those with risk factors for heart disease, are more likely to get atherosclerosis obliterans.

Atherosclerotic plaques are more likely to form in people who are overweight, have diabetes, high blood pressure, vasculitis, dyslipidemia, eat fatty and heavy foods, don’t move around much, or smoke.

Atherosclerosis obliterans: diagnosis

If you notice signs of atherosclerosis, you should see a doctor right away and have a basic hemodynamic test done.

The ankle-brachial index is determined by dividing the pressure measured at the ankle level by the pressure on the brachial artery. With this simple test, you can find out how bad the blocked artery is and how likely it is to cause heart problems in the future.

A normal ankle-brachial index is 0.9, but a score >1.3 indicates that the arteries are stiff and poorly compliant. Angiograms using computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging are used to locate and measure the size of arterial stenosis, and blood tests such as lipidogram, morphology, CRP protein, creatinine and urea are used to assess the condition of the arteries and the section where the narrowing is located.

Atherosclerosis obliterans: treatment

Treatment of atherosclerosis obliterans depends on the stage of the disease. “Asymptomatic” people should lead a healthy lifestyle, while those with intermittent claudication should implement lipid-lowering treatment, weight loss, and physical exercises to improve blood flow.

Walking training is best for those who have an acute thrombus occlusion of an artery, but rapid re-circulation via surgery or an endovascular procedure is required. Treatment of atherosclerosis obliterans includes constant control of the lipid profile.



4th Professional Medical Student. Karachi Medical and Dental College.

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