Vascular Disease

Vascular disease is a medical condition that impacts your circulatory system. When your heart beats it pumps blood through your body through arteries and veins.

Vascular Disease Quiz

What is Vascular Disease?

Vascular disease is a medical condition that impacts your circulatory system. When your heart beats it pumps blood through your body through arteries and veins. The arteries carry blood away from the heart and the veins carry blood back to the heart.

What are the different types of vascular disease?

Aortic Aneurysm

Happens when an area of the abdominal aorta or thoracic aorta weakens and bulges causing an aneurysm.Over time, the area can further weaken or rupture.

  • Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm (TAA)
  • Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA):AAA is mainly caused by a weak area in the abdominal region of the aorta that fills with blood and causes it to bulge.Over time the area can weaken and rupture leading to massive internal bleeding, in some cases, sudden death.
    • Risk factors include:Age (over 60), past or present smoker, family history of AAA, hypertension, high cholesterol, poor leg circulation, heart bypass surgery
    • Warning Signs or Symptoms:Pulsing feeling in abdomen, unexplained, severe pain in the lower back, tenderness in chest, nausea, constant feeling of full stomach

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

Happens when plaque builds up inside the blood vessels causing a condition called atherosclerosis.This reduces blood flow to major arteries in the body, which can cause serious health issues. Most commonly, three areas are impacted.

  • Lower Extremity Disease: This disease affects arteries that supply blood to muscles in the legs, where blood flow is due to plaque build-up.To compensate, the body reroutes blood through smaller arteries but that is a temporary solution as it can only work when a person is at rest.The smaller arteries aren’t able to supply enough blood when a person is active, thus causing leg pain or tiredness. Left untreated, it can lead to changes in skin color, sores or ulcers.Total loss of circulation can lead to gangrene or loss of a limb.
    • Risk factors include: smoker (past or present), hypertension, high cholesterol and triglycerides, diabetes, family history, overweight, lack of exercise, stress, age (more than 50)
    • Warning Signs or Symptoms:Pain or tiredness in legs, buttock pain, burning or tingling in feet, sores of breaks in skin of legs or feet, aching in the feet or toes when at rest, changes in skin color (bluish, reddish or pale discoloration), decrease in temperature, impotence (inability to get or maintain erection)
  • Carotid Artery Disease:This disease affects the arteries in the neck that supply blood to the brain causing the arteries that carry blood to the brain to narrow.This can lead to issues such as memory loss, difficulty with language or vision, paralysis, stroke or even death.
    • Risk factors include: smoker (past or present), hypertension, high cholesterol and triglycerides, diabetes, family history, overweight, lack of exercise, stress, age (more than 50)
    • Warning Signs or Symptoms:weakness or numbness of face or extremities, difficulty in speaking or understanding, trouble with vision, dizziness or trouble walking, headaches
  • Renal Artery Stenosis:This disease affects the arteries that supply blood to the kidneys. This can lead to high blood pressure and kidney failure.If the kidneys totally fail, dialysis or a kidney transplant is needed to stay alive.
    • Risk factors include: smoker (past or present),hypertension, high cholesterol and triglycerides, diabetes, family history, overweight, lack of exercise, stress, age (more than 50)
    • Warning signs or symptoms: uncontrolled hypertension, sudden kidney failure or problems with kidney function, congestive heart failure, pulmonary edema (when fluid builds in lungs)

Risk Factors of Vascular Disease

  • Someone in my family has/had vascular disease
  • Smoker (past or present)
  • Over age 50
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • High cholesterol

If you feel you are at risk for vascular disease and have at least one of the below risk factors, you qualify for a free screening at INTEGRIS Heart Hospital. Please call, 405-917-3523.

Learn how a $50 HeartScan could save your life.

If you are over the age of 40, check the risk factors. Schedule a HeartScan today.

Learn More About Vascular Disease

Learn how to prevent PVD, take steps to manage the risk factors.

Understanding Vascular Disease

Some types of vascular disease have obvious symptoms and others are more difficult to identify.  Your doctor will generally review your medical and family history, risk factors and symptoms. In addition, you may be scheduled for a series of tests and examinations or do a screening procedure.

At INTEGRIS, we use the most advanced imaging methods and diagnostic tools to determine the cause, severity and prognosis of your heart condition. Some of these diagnostic tests may include:

  • Angiogram: This X-ray of the arteries and veins detects blockage or narrowing. This procedure involves inserting a thin, flexible tube into an artery in the leg and injecting a contrast dye. The contrast dye makes the arteries and veins visible on the X-ray.
  • Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI): An ABI is a comparison of the blood pressure in the ankle with the blood pressure in the arm using a regular blood pressure cuff and a Doppler ultrasound device. To determine the ABI, the systolic blood pressure (the top number of the blood pressure measurement) of the ankle is divided by the systolic blood pressure of the arm.
  • Doppler Ultrasound Flow Studies: This uses high-frequency sound waves and a computer to create images of blood vessels, tissues and organs. Your doctor may use the Doppler technique to measure and assess the flow of blood. Faintness or absence of sound may mean blood flow is blocked.
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA): This noninvasive test uses a combination of a large magnet, radio frequencies and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures in the body. Your doctor injects a special dye during the procedure so blood vessels are more visible.
  • Treadmill Exercise Test: During this test your doctor will monitor your blood circulation as you walk on a treadmill.
  • Photoplethysmography (PPG): This exam is comparable to the ankle brachial index except it uses a very tiny blood pressure cuff around the toe and a PPG sensor (infrared light to evaluate blood flow near the surface of the skin) to record waveforms and blood pressure measurements. Your doctor compares these measurements to the systolic blood pressure in the arm.
  • Pulse Volume Recording (PVR) Waveform Analysis: Your doctor uses this technique to calculate blood volume changes in the legs using a recording device that displays the results as a waveform.
  • Reactive Hyperemia Test: This test is similar to an ABI or a treadmill test but used for people who can't walk on a treadmill. While you lie on your back, your doctor takes comparative blood pressure measurements on the thighs and ankles to determine any decrease between the sites.

When found early, most types of vascular disease can be successfully treated or managed. Treatment can include medication management and lifestyle changes. For more serious disease, procedures can be conducted to repair and aneurysm or restore blood flow to an artery.

Part of heart and vascular care includes managing heart disease and preventing further deterioration to help you live the fullest life possible. To accomplish that, we’ll provide you with education, continued care options and programs even after you are discharged including:

  • Cardiac Rehabilitation
  • Heart Education
  • Anticoagulation Management Clinic
  • Heart Care Program
  • Integrative Medicine
  • Palliative Care

Available Near You

Peripheral Vascular Disease

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Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral artery disease may be slightly more difficult to diagnose than coronary disease.
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Peripheral Vascular Disease