Vascular disease: List of conditions and their symptoms – Medical News Today

Vascular disease: List of conditions and their symptoms – Medical News Today

Anyone can develop vascular disease, though some people are at increased risk compared to others.

General risk factors for vascular diseases include:

Numerous conditions can affect the vascular system, including:

1. Peripheral vascular disease

Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) refers to diseases of the blood vessels outside the heart and brain.

In PVD, a fatty deposit called plaque accumulates on the inner walls of blood vessels, causing the vessels to narrow. This narrowing impairs blood flow through the vessels.

One of the most common forms of PVD is peripheral artery disease (PAD). This type of PVD can affect blood vessels anywhere in the body but generally affects arteries in the legs.


People with PVD may experience the following symptoms in areas where blood vessels have narrowed:


Lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking and getting more exercise can help prevent PVD or PAD from worsening.

A doctor may also recommend the following treatments:

  • medications, such as:
  • surgery to widen narrowed blood vessels or bypass blocked arteries

Doctors will often use a medication called cilostazol to help alleviate exercise-induced leg pain. This drug has FDA approval for this use.

2. Limb-threatening ischemia

Limb-threatening ischemia (LTI) is an advanced stage of PAD that involves a decrease in blood flow to the limbs.

Over time, decreased blood flow to the affected limbs can cause nerve damage, leg ulcers, and infections.


Early symptoms of LTI may include pain, burning, or cramping in the affected limb. Over time, a reduction in blood flow to the affected limb may cause severe pain, even while the limb is resting.

Sudden onset of LTI is a medical emergency. Signs to look out for include:

  • severe pain in the affected limb
  • paleness or coldness of the affected limb
  • numbness or weakness of the affected limb


Regular physical exercise may help prevent LTI from worsening. Other treatment options include:

  • medications to help control high blood pressure or high cholesterol
  • pain-relievers
  • antibiotics to help treat infections
  • surgery to widen narrowed arteries or bypass damaged blood vessels

3. Carotid artery disease

Carotid artery disease is the medical term for an accumulation of plaque in the carotid arteries, which are large arteries on either side of the neck. The carotid arteries deliver blood to the brain and head.


In many cases, people will be unaware that they have carotid artery disease until they experience a stroke or mini-stroke. This can happen when the carotid arteries become so blocked that either part of this blockage breaks loose and travels to the brain or, less commonly, when they completely cut off blood flow.

The symptoms of a mini-stroke or transient ischemic attack are similar to those of a stroke but do not last as long.


Lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking and …….


Quit smoking