What is PAD and CLI? | Abbott
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What is Peripheral Artery Disease and Critical Limb Ischemia?

Are your legs in pain all the time? Do you have sores on your feet that aren’t healing? These could be signs of peripheral artery disease (PAD).

PAD is caused by a narrowing or blockage of the blood vessels (arteries) that carry blood from the heart to the rest of your body. PAD is most commonly caused by blockages that reduce blood flow to your legs, and cause symptoms like severe pain and sores that don't heal. It could even mean complete loss of blood circulation, which can cause body tissue to die. This is called gangrene and can lead to amputation of the affected body part if it goes untreated.

Plaque in arteries


Critical limb ischemia (CLI) is a severe form of PAD

People with CLI often have chronic pain, even at rest, as well as ulcers and gangrene (tissue death) that develop as a result of long-term poor blood flow to the lower limbs.1

Facts About PAD and Critical Limb Ischemia

8.5 million people in the United States have PAD,2 but 75% of adults are not aware of the disease3

8.5 million people

Diabetes, hypertension, smoking and obesity are major risk factors1,2

African American and Native American populations are at highest risk of the disease4,5

Up to 40% of patients with CLI currently undergo amputations.1 Amputation risk is highest among African Americans4

Up to 40%
Foot Injury

Critical Limb Ischemia Symptoms1,3

  • Pain or numbness in the feet
  • Absent or reduced pulse in the legs or feet
  • Foot pain at rest
  • Wound(s) in the leg or feet that will not heal

Learn from Dr. Ochoa, Board Certified Vascular Surgeon, the symptoms of PAD and CLI.

References

  1. Uccioli L, Meloni M, Izzo V, et al. Critical limb ischemia: current challenges and future prospects. Vasc Health Risk Manag. 2018;14:63-74.
  2. American Heart Association website. About peripheral artery disease (PAD). https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/peripheral-artery-disease/about-peripheral-artery-disease-pad. Accessed April 9, 2021.
  3. Medscape website. Peripheral arterial disease affects more women than men.
  4. Duff S, Mafilios MS, Bhounsule P, Hasegawa JT. The burden of critical limb ischemia: a review of recent literature. Vasc Health Risk Manag. 2019;15:187-208.
  5. Baxter AR, Jacobowitz GR, Guo Y, et al. Increased prevalence of moderate and severe peripheral arterial disease in the American Indian (AI)/Alaskan Native (AN) population; a study of 96,000 AI/AN. Ann Vasc Surg. 2017;38:177-183.

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