Asymptomatic polyvascular atherosclerotic disease requires a complex management strategy--case report and review of the literature

J Med Life. 2009 Jul-Sep;2(3):254-61.


Atherosclerosis represents a systemic disease that affects all major vascular territories. Despite advances in medical therapies to prevent atherosclerosis and better manage patients with established peripheral arterial disease (PAD), the incidence of PAD continues to increase, and associated morbidity remains high, especially as the population ages. Over the past decade, percutaneous revascularization therapies for the treatment of patients with PAD have tremendously evolved, and a great number of patients can be offered treatment options that are less invasive than traditional surgical ones. Here we are presenting the case of a 67-year-old diabetic woman with multiple cardiovascular risk factors and oligosymptomatic atherosclerotic involvement in several important territories (severe internal carotid stenosis, severe proximal left subclavian artery stenosis, critical serial stenosis in the mid-segment of the left anterior descending artery). Bilateral staged carotid artery plus left subclavian artery stenting was performed with very good results. Regarding the existence of asymptomatic one vessel coronary artery disease (CAD) with a negative exercise test our attitude was to maximize anti-ischemic medical therapy. In conclusion, the presence of multivascular atherosclerotic disease in a diabetic patient with coexisting risk factors is not surprising and it only reinforces the well known fact that we have to search for the involvement of other territories in an oligosymptomatic patient.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Atherosclerosis / diagnosis
  • Atherosclerosis / therapy*
  • Carotid Stenosis / diagnosis
  • Carotid Stenosis / therapy
  • Coronary Stenosis / diagnosis
  • Coronary Stenosis / therapy
  • Endarterectomy, Carotid
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Stents
  • Subclavian Steal Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Subclavian Steal Syndrome / therapy