Peripheral arterial disease and diabetes: a clinical update

Int J Low Extrem Wounds. 2009 Jun;8(2):75-81. doi: 10.1177/1534734609336768.


Peripheral arterial disease is characterized by a gradual reduction in blood to the extremities secondary to atherosclerosis. In diabetes, the pattern of atherosclerotic occlusion typically shows a propensity toward the infrapopliteal vessels. Additionally, impairment of the microcirculation manifests in diminished vasoreactivity and a functional ischemia that is not always correctable with surgery. However, when a nonhealing wound is complicated by peripheral arterial disease, revascularization is paramount to wound healing. Revascularization can be accomplished through traditional bypass surgery or newer endovascular interventions, such as angioplasty and stenting. These less invasive techniques of revascularization offer the advantages of quicker recovery and lower morbidity but durability may be compromised. Ultimately, the choice of revascularization procedure should be based on the clinical characteristics of the atherosclerotic lesion along with the individual patient history.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Complications* / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Complications* / physiopathology
  • Diabetes Complications* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Microcirculation
  • Morbidity
  • Peripheral Vascular Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Peripheral Vascular Diseases* / physiopathology
  • Peripheral Vascular Diseases* / surgery
  • Vascular Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Wound Healing