Peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAD) is mainly caused by typical risk factors for heart and vascular diseases, such as diabetes, smoking, hypertension, and lipid metabolism disorders.
The disease can remain asymptomatic for long periods and may later present as intermittent claudication during exercise, and pain in the legs and calves while resting. In such cases, a detailed diagnostic assessment is necessary in order to identify or rule out other manifestations of vessel calcification (atherosclerosis). Most importantly, patients need to be checked for signs of coronary heart disease or carotid artery disease.
Our Angiology Unit collaborates closely with the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology and the Department of Cardiothoracic, Transplantation and Vascular Surgery in treating vascular diseases.
Once the patient’s symptoms have been documented, peripheral leg and arm blood flow is measured using Doppler pressure and an oscillograph. The treadmill test allows us to objectively determine the relative and absolute walking distance. The stenosis or occlusion of the peripheral artery (predominantly pelvic or thigh artery) can be documented with duplex sonography. If therapy for the leg is required, a computed tomography (CT) of the peripheral vascular tree with contrast medium is carried out in advance.
Following arterial puncture of the femoral or brachial artery, the stenosis or the occlusion of the leg artery can be clearly detected after the administration of contrast medium. Balloon dilatation and / or stent implantation are available as treatment options.