Hands on peripheral arterial disease
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD), also known as peripheral vascular disease (PVD), is a vascular condition which affects the legs. It is caused by atherosclerosis – narrowing and hardening of the arteries – and has previously been described as being similar to angina in the legs. Sufferers get cramping pains in their legs when they walk, which is relieved by rest. This is similar to the chest pain that occurs in people with coronary heart disease (CHD). The similarities between CHD and PAD do not end there: the causes and treatments also overlap. In this article, we explore how two patients presented with symptoms suggestive of PAD and how they were treated.