Extremity Arteries

  • Wilhelm Schäberle


As the population ages, more people develop atherosclerotic occlusive disease. Atherosclerosis affects not only the coronary arteries and the arteries supplying the brain but also the arteries of the extremities. The prevalence of symptomatic peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAOD) in men and women aged 55–75 is over 5% and, when asymptomatic disease is included, over 20%. Atherosclerosis impairs an individual’s quality of life, causing immobility and disability. Life expectancy is reduced by about 10 years in male PAOD patients. The main causes of death are coronary heart disease (55% of patients with PAOD vs. 36% without PAOD) and cerebral conditions (11% vs. 4%). While PAOD is the manifestation of generalized atherosclerosis and affects all vascular territories, there is a high rate of concomitant involvement of the coronary and extracranial cerebral vessels, in particular in PAOD of the pelvic arteries. Patients in whom PAOD has been diagnosed require individual therapeutic management based on the stage of the disease and the suitability of their vascular system for surgical repair as well as further prophylactic diagnostic and therapeutic measures (coronary heart disease, carotid stenosis). The wider range of therapeutic options available today, percutaneous interventions in particular, can prevent the loss of a limb by reconstruction or recanalization of occluded arteries. Timely interventions restore perfusion and improve quality of life in patients with steno-occlusive disease. Early diagnosis is thus essential for the initiation of proper treatment, and duplex ultrasonography is a well-suited noninvasive modality for an efficient and low-risk primary diagnostic workup and treatment planning.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wilhelm Schäberle
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Visceral, Vascular, Thoracic, and Pediatric SurgeryAlb Fils KlinikenGöppingenGermany

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