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Diagnosis and Treatment of Peripheral Arterial Diseases (ESC & ESV, 2017)

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Last updated:28th Feb 2018

In this document, the term ‘peripheral arterial diseases’ encompasses all arterial diseases other than coronary arteries and the aorta. This should be clearly distinguished from the term ‘peripheral artery disease’, which is often used for lower extremity artery disease (LEAD). Indeed, other peripheral localizations, including the carotid and vertebral, upper extremities, mesenteric and renal arteries, are also frequently affected, mainly by atherosclerosis, and complete the family of PADs. Regarding the carotid and vertebral arteries, this document covers only their extracranial segments, as specialists other than cardiologists and vascular surgeons often manage intracranial arterial diseases.

The Task Force has decided to address only PADs secondary to atherosclerosis, with a few exceptions in specific areas where non-atherosclerotic diseases are a frequent differential diagnosis (e.g. fibromuscular dysplasia in renal arteries). For other cases, readers should always bear in mind the possibility for non-atherosclerotic conditions and refer to specific documents. Readers are also invited to refer to the Web addenda for further information.

The ESC and ESVS also join their efforts to provide increased medical and public awareness about PADs. Indeed, while stroke is acknowledged as a serious condition with significant burden throughout Europe, other PADs can be as lethal and disabling. Major efforts are still necessary to sensitize healthcare providers, decision makers and the general population about the need for earlier and more efficient prevention and management strategies for the 40 million individuals of our continent affected by PADs.

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