Peripheral vascular disease - Definition

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Peripheral vascular disease (PVD), a term used for the arteries in the legs, indicates an obstruction of the arteries which supply the lower extremities. It can also be called peripheral artery disease (PAD). The obstruction is due to cholesterol build-up inside the lining of the arteries. The symptoms get steadily worse, initially painful when walking, then shorter and shorter distances, and then when at rest. Tests, such as a Doppler ultrasound of the lower limbs or even an arteriography enable the localization of the obstructed zones and help to plan treatment, initially clinical, and eventually surgical, at the advanced stages, by either bypass or stent.