Peripheral Arterial Disease(PAD)

Plaque buildup in the arteries(called atherosclerosis) that carry blood to your head, organs, and limbs. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, fibrous tissue can harden and narrow the arteries Limits the flow of oxygen-rich blood from your heart to your hands, legs, head, kidneys and stomach.

Here we will here focus on P.A.D. that affects blood flow to the legs.


  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • High amounts of certain fats and cholesterol in the blood
  • Tobacco usage in any form
  • High blood pressure
  • Inherent blood clotting issues
  • Old age
  • Obesity
  • Idiopathic(unknown)

Eventually, a section of plaque can rupture (break open), causing a blood clot to form at the site

Associated health issues

P.A.D. increases your risk of coronary heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and transient ischemic attack


Clinical Features

Common signs and symptoms are

  • Weak or absent pulses in the legs or feet
Intermittent Claudication
  • Symptoms when walking or climbing stairs, which may include pain, numbness, aching, or heaviness in the leg muscles. Symptoms also may include cramping in the affected leg(s) and in the buttocks, thighs, calves, and feet.
  • Pain in the toe tips even at rest position
  • Sores or wounds on the toes, feet, or legs that heal slowly, poorly, or not at all
  • Gangrene (tissue death)- black color change of skin and tissue and Infected wounds
  • A pale or bluish color to the skin
  • A lower temperature in one leg compared to the other leg
  • Poor nail growth on the toes and decreased hair growth on the legs
  • Erectile dysfunction

Diagnostic Tests

Ankle-Brachial Index(TBI) and Toe Brachial Index(TBI)
  • Comparing blood pressure in the hands and legs
Doppler Ultrasound
  • Provides a early screen regarding presence of reduced blood flow
Pulse Volume recording
  • Measuring the pressure based waveforms in the legs
Treadmill Test
  • In claudicants, helps to document the distance walked
Computerised Tomographic Angiogram (CT Scan)
  • Standard test to obtain information regarding the disease
Magnetic Resonance Angiogram (MRI Scan)
  • Standard test to obtain information regarding the disease
  • Can be done in patients with reduced kidney function
  • Invasive test used in patients with doubtful CT/MRI findings
  • Simultaneous therapy can be done


Treatment is based on your signs and symptoms, risk factors, and the results of physical exams and tests.

Overall goals- improving mobility and quality of life, ; reducing symptoms of claudication, reduce infection, heal wounds, reducing risk of heart attack, kidney failure and stroke. Target of treatment in Claudicants- improve walking distance and quality of life. Target of treatment in individuals with wounds/gangrene- remove dead tissue, heal the wound and preserve healthy tissue.

Healthy Lifestyle Changes
  • Physical activity
  • Quitting smoking
  • Heart-healthy eating
Treatment options
  • Bypass Grafting Surgery- open surgery
  • Patients own vein or synthetic tube will be used for bypass