What Is Peripheral Vascular Disease?
Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) refers to (PAD) is a type of organic PVD. It’s caused by diseases of blood vessels outside the heart and fatty buildups (atherosclerosis) in the inner wal s brain. It’s often a narrowing of vessels that carry of arteries; these deposits block normal blood flow. blood to the legs, arms, stomach or kidneys.
There are two types of these circulation disorders:
Functionalperipheral vascular diseases don’t
have an organic cause. That means they don’t involve defects in blood vessels’ structure. (The blood vessels aren’t physically damaged in some way.) These diseases often have and go. Raynaud’s disease is an example. In Raynaud’s disease, restricted circulation can Atherosclerosis
be triggered by cold temperatures, emotional stress, working with vibrating machinery • Organic peripheral vascular diseases are
caused by structural changes in the blood vessels. Examples could include inflammation and tissue damage. Peripheral artery disease Is peripheral artery disease dangerous?
Yes. PAD is a condition similar to coronary artery
kidneys, stomach, arms, legs and feet. Left disease and carotid artery disease. (Coronary artery disease is the name for fatty buildups in amputation of limbs. People with PAD often have the arteries that supply the heart muscle with fatty buildups in the arteries of the heart and blood and nourishment. Carotid artery disease is brain, but PAD may be their first sign. Most the name for fatty buildups in the neck artery that people with PAD have a higher risk of death from stroke and heart attack. If a blood clot forms and In PAD, fatty deposits build up in the inner lining blocks a narrowed artery to the heart, a heart of artery wal s. These blockages restrict blood attack results. If the clot blocks an artery to the circulation, mainly in arteries leading to the What are the symptoms?
In its early stages, common symptoms of poor
Symptoms of poor kidney circulation include leg circulation are cramping, fatigue, heaviness, sudden high blood pressure, or blood pressure pain or discomfort in the legs and buttocks during that is hard or impossible to control with activity. This usual y subsides when the activity medications. Severe blockage of the kidney stops. It’s cal ed “intermittent claudication”. arteries may result in loss of kidney function or failure. What Is Peripheral Vascular Disease? (continued) How is PAD diagnosed?
Diagnosing PAD begins with a medical history
• Doppler and duplex ultrasound imaging and physical exam. In the exam, your doctor can do a simple test cal ed the ABI (ankle brachial index). After that, other tests may be done. How is PAD treated?
Most people with PAD can be treated with lifestyle Lifestyle modifications (including an exercise
changes, medicines or both. Lifestyle changes to
program) usual y improve symptoms or keep them from getting worse. In a minority of patients, • Stop smoking. (Smokers are 2 to 25 times more lifestyle changes alone aren’t sufficient. Then likely to get PAD and experience symptoms of angioplasty or surgery may be needed.
Angioplasty is a non-surgical procedure that widens narrowed or blocked arteries. A thin tube cal ed a catheter with a deflated bal oon on its tip is passed into the narrowed artery segment. • Be physical y active (including a supervised Then the bal oon is inflated. This pushes open the narrowed segment. Then the bal oon is deflated • Eat a low-saturated-fat, low-cholesterol diet PAD may require drug treatment, including: Often a stent — a wire mesh tube — is placed in - Medicines (cilostazol and pentoxifyl ine) to the narrowed artery with a catheter. There the stent expands and locks open. It stays in that spot, keeping the diseased artery open.
- Antiplatelet agents to keep the platelets from sticking together and triggering a blood clot If a long part of an artery is narrowed, surgery may be needed. A vein from another part of the body or a synthetic blood vessel is attached above and below the blocked area to detour blood around the blocked spot.
How can I learn more?
1. Talk to your doctor, nurse or other health-care
professionals. If you have heart disease or have had a stroke, members of your family also may be at higher risk. It’s very important for them to make changes now to lower their risk.
healthier choices to reduce your risk, manage or visit americanheart.org to learn more Knowledge is power, so Learn and Live! Do you have questions or comments for your doctor?
Take a few minutes to write your own questions for the next time you see your healthcare provider. For example:
Should I be checked for PVD?
Your contribution to the American Heart Association supports research that helps make publications like this possible.
The statistics in this sheet were up to date at publication. For the latest statistics, see the Heart Disease and Stroke

Statistics Update at americanheart.org/statistics.
2007, American Heart Association 10/07LS1466

Source: http://iwd-dev.net/bhc/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/ucm_3003231.pdf


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