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Ischemia - Definition


Ischemia refers to the suffering of an organ or tissue resulting from the interruption of all or part of the blood circulation to that area. It may be due to the blockage of an artery by a blood clot, the substantial narrowing of an artery often associated with deposits of cholesterol, to a hemorrhage, or the compression of the artery. When ischemia is temporary or quickly attended to, the damage to the body is not permanent and the cells are not destroyed completely. On the other hand, in cases of prolonged ischemia, there is a risk of irreversible organ damage. The most dangerous ischemia affects the brain and the heart, but can affect other organs such as kidney, lung, digestive organ, and also a part of a limb, often a leg, in acute limb ischemia. An arterial angiography examination or arterial Doppler ultrasonography should be performed to quickly identify the cause and treat it to restore blood supply to the tissue.