CV Directions Companion: Peripheral Artery Disease and Reducing Length-of-Stay Post-Amputation

Are you performing amputations due to Peripheral Artery Disease?

In the NEW CV Directions, Phalan Bolden and Latasha Ruffin report excellent results from the Vascular Amputation Task Force's initiative to reduce length-of-stay post-amputation.

Learn more, reduce costs.

More on Peripheral Artery Disease, compiled by authors Bolden and Ruffin:

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a condition characterized by atherosclerotic occlusive disease of the lower extremities.  Risk factors for peripheral artery disease include elevated blood cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, hypertension, inactivity and obesity.  Diabetes and smoking are the strongest risk factors.

Diabetes is most strongly associated with femoral-popliteal and tibial (below the knee) PAD, whereas, smoking and hypertension are associated with more proximal disease in the aorto-ilio-femoral vessels.  Data from the Framingham Heart Study revealed that 20 percent of symptomatic patients with PAD had diabetes, but this probably greatly underestimates the prevalence, given that many more people with PAD are asymptomatic rather than symptomatic.

Symptoms of peripheral artery disease depend upon the location and extent of the blocked arteries. The most common symptom of PAD is intermittent claudication, manifested by pain (usually in the calf) that occurs while walking and dissipates at rest. Complications of PAD include sores that do not heal, ulcers, gangrene, or infections in the extremities.  While PAD is a major risk factor for lower-extremity amputation, it is also accompanied by a high likelihood for symptomatic cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease.

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