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Peripheral Artery Disease in Albuquerque

Similar to coronary artery disease (CAD), peripheral artery disease (PAD) is the narrowing of peripheral arteries which provide blood to the stomach, legs, head and arm.  The word “peripheral” means that the arteries are found in parts of the body remote from the heart.

PAC manifests most commonly in arteries in the legs.

Atherosclerosis is the precursor to both CAD and PAD and describes a narrowing of and eventual blockage of arteries.

Some quick facts

Symptoms:

  • Cramping in the lower extremities
  • Fatigue in leg or hip muscles while climbing stairs or walking
  • Pain subsides with rest, returning when you start moving around again

Some things to be aware of:

  • The symptoms of PAD are often mistaken for another condition
  • This condition is frequently undetected, even by healthcare professionals
  • PADS indicates a higher risk for CAD, stroke and heart attack
  • If not correctly diagnosed and treated, the condition may lead to gangrene and subsequent amputation

Risk factors

Your risk for developing peripheral artery disease increases if any of the following apply:

  • You are over the age of 45
  • You have high cholesterol levels or high blood pressure
  • You smoke (this is an extremely high-risk behavior with respect to PAD)
  • If you have diabetes, you are in a high-risk position

Atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis is the buildup of plaque inside the walls of the arteries.  Plaque consists of cholesterol, fat deposits and other matter.  The presence of this condition in the peripheral arteries is the number one cause of PAD.

Diagnosis

A physical exam will be conducted, during which the pulse in your legs will be assessed. If weak, this is a further indicator of PAD.

  • Ankle-brachial index: This painless test compares blood pressure in the feet to that in your arms, determining the quality of blood flow.  Normal blood pressure in the lower extremities is 90% of brachial (arm) pressure.  With narrowing of the arteries, this will be under 50%.
  • CT scan: This non-invasive imaging test shows arteries in the legs, pelvis and abdomen.  It’s extremely helpful for diagnosing PAC in patients with stents or pacemakers.

Other testing tools include Doppler and Ultrasound, magnetic resonance angiography and angiography.

Good things to know

If you’re a high-risk person or you’ve already been diagnosed, you should know that it’s not all gloom and doom.

For one, PAD is easy to diagnose with an effective diagnostic process.  And once you know you have it, you’re in the driver’s seat.  Your doctor will recommend key lifestyle changes to support a healthier heart.  All you need to do is follow them, as a significant number of PAD cases can be managed with medication and pivotal lifestyle changes.

X-Ray Associates of New Mexico

Peripheral artery disease in Albuquerque has a diagnostic friend in XRANM. With 6 locations in the state of New Mexico, we’ve been bringing the most advanced radiographic testing to this state for over 65 years.

With the patient at the center of all we do, patients receive exceptional quality imaging services and compassionate customer care.

Contact us about testing for peripheral artery disease in Albuquerque.

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