Current state of diagnosis and management of critical limb ischemia

Curr Cardiol Rep. 2012 Apr;14(2):160-70. doi: 10.1007/s11886-012-0251-4.


Critical limb ischemia represents the most severe form of peripheral arterial disease and carries with it severe morbidity and mortality risks. Because of comorbidity risks, early diagnosis and aggressive medical management make up an important part of the treatment paradigm for these individuals. However, in addition to managing these comorbid conditions, the physician caring for these individuals must be able to provide revascularization options that will improve arterial flow to the threatened extremity and assure healing of complicated wounds. Both open surgical and endovascular therapies have proven beneficial in restoring flow to severely ischemic limbs in these patients. Additionally, combinations of the above therapeutic methods have offered more available options for these patients. This article reviews care of patients with critical limb ischemia with critical assessment of options for medical and revascularization options.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amputation / statistics & numerical data
  • Angiography
  • Chronic Pain / etiology
  • Chronic Pain / physiopathology
  • Chronic Pain / therapy
  • Comorbidity
  • Critical Care / standards*
  • Critical Illness
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ischemia / diagnosis*
  • Ischemia / physiopathology
  • Ischemia / therapy
  • Ischemic Postconditioning
  • Limb Salvage
  • Lower Extremity / blood supply*
  • Lower Extremity / physiopathology
  • Lower Extremity / surgery
  • Male
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease / complications
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease / diagnosis*
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease / physiopathology
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease / therapy
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Upper Extremity / blood supply*
  • Upper Extremity / physiopathology
  • Upper Extremity / surgery
  • Wound Healing


  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors