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Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a common, progressive circulatory problem in which narrowed or blocked arteries reduce blood flow to limbs. The disease affects more than 19 million people in the U.S.1 and over 200 million globally2.  PAD develops when arteries become clogged with plaque that limits blood flow to the leg. When blood flow does not keep up with the metabolic demand of the leg, the blockage can cause pain while walking, changes in skin color, sores or ulcers, and even pain at rest. In the most severe cases, loss of circulation to the legs and feet can cause gangrene and lead to amputation. Limb threatening PAD is a major cause of disability. Patients with PAD also have 6-7 times higher risk of heart attack and stroke3.

Causes & Risks

Peripheral artery disease is usually caused by atherosclerosis. This is when fatty deposits (plaque) build up in the arterial walls and reduce blood flow to the extremities. Diabetes, smoking, high blood pressure, obesity and high cholesterol are all risk factors related to PAD. Genetic factors, family history, dietary factors and lack of exercise also can increase your risk. Unless treated, 70% of patients with PAD will die within 15 years of contracting the disease4.

Limitations of Current Solutions

The two major goals of treating peripheral artery disease is to manage symptoms and prevent limb loss. Lifestyle changes such as weight loss or smoking cessation may help prevent disease progression. Prescription medications also may help manage symptoms in an effort to slow disease progression. In some cases, bypass surgery or balloon angioplasty (PTA) with or without a stent is necessary to restore blood supply to the compromised area.

Balloon angioplasty is the standard of care for patients with severe PAD5. By inserting a small balloon into the diseased, narrowed section of the artery, the lumen can be expanded to improve blood flow. However, the blood vessel may become damaged due to an elevated tissue flap or tearing of tissue in the arterial wall (acute dissection). These dissections may obstruct blood flow immediately or at a later stage. For lower extremities, this may be impacted by flexing, bending and twisting. Typically, leg arteries experience high restenosis and reintervention rates.

To learn more about PAD treatments and if the Tack Endovascular System® might work for you, contact info@intactvascular.com.

  1. Yost, The Sage Group 2015.
  2. Lancet Vol 382 October 19, 2013
  3. Belch JJ, Topol EJ, Agnelli G, et al. Critical issues in peripheral arterial disease detection and management: a call to action. Arch Intern Med. 2003;163(8):884-892. (2) Golomb BA, Dang TT, Criqui MH, et al. Peripheral arterial disease: morbidity and mortality implications. Circulation. 2006;114(7):688- 699. (3) Hirsch AT, Haskal ZJ, Hertzer NR, et al. ACC/AHA 2005 guidelines for the management of patients with peripheral arterial disease (lower extremity, renal, mesenteric, and abdominal aortic). J Am Coll Cardiol. 2006;47(6):1239-1312.
  4. National Institute of Health Fact Sheet No. 06-5837, August 2006
  5. Dormandy et al. J Cardiovasc Surg and Criqui M. Presentation: Vascular Medicine of the Lower Extremities at the American Diabetes Association’s Scientific Sessions June 1999
  6. Zeller, T. Current state of endovascular treatment of femoro-popliteal artery disease. Vas Med 12(2007) p.232