Peripheral arterial disease and the diabetic foot

In peripheral arterial disease (PAD), atherosclerotic vessels in the periphery impair blood and oxygen perfusion to the lower limbs and may lead to increased risk of ulceration, wounds and amputations. PAD is also associated with increased risk of coronary and cerebrovascular incidents (Meru et al, 2006).


The main risk factors for PAD include smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol and family history (Meru et al, 2006). More than 50% of people living with PAD may not show any clinical symptoms, hence proper diagnosis and management is challenging (Hirsch et al, 2007; Norgren et al, 2007). This article will discuss the aetiology, presentation, risk factors, and management of PAD as related to the lower extremities.


Aetiology and presentation
PAD is a macrovascular complication of diabetes mainly caused by atherosclerosis, whereby fatty plaque deposits progressively narrow the lumen of the arteries and decrease vascular perfusion to the lower limbs … read more