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Bundle branch block
Pulseless electrical activity
Atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia (AVNRT)
Premature atrial contraction
Long QT syndrome and Torsade de pointes
Premature ventricular contraction
Rheumatic heart disease
Atrial septal defect
Coarctation of the aorta
Patent ductus arteriosus
Ventricular septal defect
Hypoplastic left heart syndrome
Tetralogy of Fallot
Total anomalous pulmonary venous return
Transposition of the great vessels
Pericarditis and pericardial effusion
Aortic valve disease
Mitral valve disease
Pulmonary valve disease
Tricuspid valve disease
Coronary steal syndrome
Polycystic kidney disease
Renal artery stenosis
Peripheral artery disease
Subclavian steal syndrome
Superior mesenteric artery syndrome
Human herpesvirus 8 (Kaposi sarcoma)
Chronic venous insufficiency
Deep vein thrombosis
Acyanotic congenital heart defects: Pathology review
Aortic dissections and aneurysms: Pathology review
Atherosclerosis and arteriosclerosis: Pathology review
Cardiac and vascular tumors: Pathology review
Cardiomyopathies: Pathology review
Coronary artery disease: Pathology review
Cyanotic congenital heart defects: Pathology review
Dyslipidemias: Pathology review
Endocarditis: Pathology review
Heart blocks: Pathology review
Heart failure: Pathology review
Hypertension: Pathology review
Pericardial disease: Pathology review
Peripheral artery disease: Pathology review
Shock: Pathology review
Supraventricular arrhythmias: Pathology review
Valvular heart disease: Pathology review
Vasculitis: Pathology review
Ventricular arrhythmias: Pathology review
Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)
Tariq is a 52-year-old individual who presents to the clinic complaining of left leg pain. He describes the pain as “cramping” and mostly located in his calf. He also mentions that the pain comes every time he walks from his home to the supermarket, and is relieved when he rests. Tariq also has a known history of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and a myocardial infarction 2 years ago. On physical examination, there is a noticeable decrease in hair growth on the left side compared to the right, and the skin appears dry and shiny. There is no leg swelling, and there’s no back pain.
Peripheral artery disease is insufficient tissue perfusion due to narrowing or occlusion of the aorta or one of its peripheral branches supplying the limbs. Similar to coronary artery and cerebrovascular disease, the development of an atherosclerotic plaque that narrows or completely occludes an artery is the number one cause of peripheral artery disease, and so these diseases often coexist together.
So on the exam, an important clue may be an individual with a past medical history of a myocardial infarction or a stroke. In addition, look for risk factors of atherosclerosis, such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, smoking and hyperlipidemia.
The symptoms of peripheral artery disease depend on how bad the occlusion is. In the early stages of the disease individuals may be completely asymptomatic. One of the first symptoms is intermittent claudication. This is characterized by cramping pain in the affected area that comes about during exercise, and is relieved with rest.
Individuals often describe a specific and often consistent distance that brings about the pain, such as walking 2 blocks. The location of the pain can also help give a clue about which artery is occluded. For example, hip claudication indicates aortic or iliac artery occlusion, whereas calf claudication points towards femoral or popliteal artery occlusion.
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