Office management of peripheral arterial disease

Am J Med. 2010 Sep;123(9):790-2. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2010.03.017.


Patients with peripheral arterial disease are at increased risk for all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, and mortality from coronary artery disease. Smoking should be stopped, and hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and dyslipidemia should be treated. Statins reduce the incidence of intermittent claudication and increase exercise duration until the onset of intermittent claudication in patients with peripheral arterial disease and hypercholesterolemia. Antiplatelet drugs, such as aspirin or clopidogrel, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, and statins, should be given to all patients with peripheral arterial disease. Beta-blockers should be given if coronary artery disease is present. Exercise rehabilitation programs and cilostazol improve exercise time until the onset of intermittent claudication. Indications for lower-extremity angioplasty, preferably with stenting, or bypass surgery are incapacitating claudication interfering with work or lifestyle in patients; limb salvage in patients with limb-threatening ischemia as manifested by rest pain, nonhealing ulcers, infection, or gangrene; and vasculogenic impotence.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Ambulatory Care* / methods
  • Angioplasty
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Coronary Artery Disease / complications
  • Coronary Artery Disease / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Complications / drug therapy
  • Dyslipidemias / complications
  • Dyslipidemias / drug therapy
  • Exercise Tolerance
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Hypertension / drug therapy
  • Intermittent Claudication / etiology
  • Intermittent Claudication / therapy
  • Ischemia / therapy
  • Lower Extremity / blood supply*
  • Office Visits
  • Peripheral Vascular Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Peripheral Vascular Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Peripheral Vascular Diseases / etiology
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Stents


  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors