What is Peripheral Artery Disease?
Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is a hardening of the arteries due to build-up or blockage in any area of the body other than the heart. The disease most commonly affects the legs, but it can also occur in the kidneys, neck or arms. These blockages keep extremities and organs from receiving oxygen-rich blood. PAD is common and treatable but it is often misdiagnosed as its main symptom of leg cramps is regarded by many as a consequence of aging. Ultimately, peripheral artery disease symptoms can reduce mobility and be fatal if left untreated.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) can be difficult to diagnose as many patients have no symptoms or symptoms so mild that they are given little consideration. A PAD diagnosis can be made by one of our cardiologists using the latest in technology to detect and monitor the health of your limbs using a simple tests such as blood pressure measurements of your ankles and an ultrasound of your legs.
Once PAD is diagnosed out team is able to guide you through treatment which usually starts with exercise programs. At MCI our cardiologists have the ability to open critical blockages with minimally invasive or hybrid procedures.
Symptoms of PAD
- Cramping in Legs During Exercise
- Sores on Toes, Feet, or Legs
- Leg Numbness
- Hair Loss on Feet & Legs
- No Pulse or a Weak Pulse in Leg or Feet
- Auscultation: Physician uses a stethoscope to listen for the presence of a bruit, or “whooshing” sound in the arteries of the legs
- Ankle-brachial index (ABI): An ankle-brachial index (ABI) is a quick, non-invasive test used to determine if blood flow may be inhibited in one or both legs
- Doppler Ultrasound: A form of ultrasound measuring the direction and rate of blood flow through the vessels
- CT angiography: An advanced X-ray procedure that uses a computer to generate three-dimensional images
- Magnetic resonance angiography (MR angiography): A Magnetic resonance angiography is used to generate images of arteries in order to evaluate them for stenosis, occlusions, aneurysms or other abnormalities
- Angiogram: A diagnostic test that uses x-rays to take pictures of your blood vessels