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Peripheral arterial disease: diagnosis and management

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Last updated:8th Aug 2012

Lower limb peripheral arterial disease (called peripheral arterial disease throughout this document) is a marker for increased risk of cardiovascular events even when it is asymptomatic. The most common initial symptom of peripheral arterial disease is leg pain while walking, known as intermittent claudication. Critical limb ischaemia is a severe manifestation of peripheral arterial disease, and is characterised by severely diminished circulation, ischaemic pain, ulceration, tissue loss and/or gangrene.

This guideline covers diagnosing and managing peripheral arterial disease (PAD) in people aged 18 and over. Rapid changes in diagnostic methods, endovascular treatments and vascular services associated with new specialties in surgery and interventional radiology have resulted in considerable uncertainty and variation in practice. This guideline aims to resolve that uncertainty and variation.


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