Ernane D. Reis, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY.
Nicholas Morrissey, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY.
Prevalence of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) increases with age. PAD is not only associated with disability (e.g., claudication, limb loss), but also with increased mortality from cardiac and cerebrovascular events. A thorough assessment of symptoms, risk factors and physical signs--including ankle-brachial indices--can be sufficient to determine whether PAD is present. Further testing--such as Duplex examination, magnetic resonance imaging and conventional arteriography--is often required to determine progression and accurate localization of lesions, as well as to direct therapeutic intervention. Early detection of PAD can help prevent functional impairment and death in the elderly.
Key words: atherosclerosis, peripheral arterial disease, ankle-brachial index, diabetes, claudication.