Vascular disease

Vascular disease is a class of diseases of the blood vessels – the arteries and veins of the circulatory system of the body. Vascular disease is a subgroup of cardiovascular disease. Disorders in this vast network of blood vessels can cause a range of health problems that can sometimes become severe.[3]

Vascular disease
Vein art rotating.gif
Veins and arteries
SpecialtyAngiology Edit this on Wikidata
TypesPeripheral artery disease,[1] Renal artery stenosis[2]
Diagnostic methodVenography, Ultrasound[3]
TreatmentQuit smoking, Lower cholesterol[4]


There are several types of vascular disease, and signs and symptoms can vary depending on the disease type. These types include:[5]


Endothelium lines the inner wall of the vessel

Vascular disease is a pathological state of large and medium muscular arteries and is triggered by endothelial cell dysfunction.[11] Because of factors like pathogens, oxidized LDL particles and other inflammatory stimuli endothelial cells become active.[12] The process causes thickening of the vessel wall, forming a plaque that consists of proliferating smooth muscle cells, macrophages and lymphocytes.[13][14] The plaque results in restricted blood flow, decreasing the amount of oxygen and nutrients that reach certain organs.[15] This plaque can also rupture, causing the formation of clots.[16]


Diagnosing vascular disease can be complex due to the variety of symptoms vascular diseases can cause. Reviewing a patient's family history and conducting a physical examination are important steps in making a diagnosis. Physical exams may differ depending on the type of vascular disease suspected. For example, in the case of a peripheral vascular disease, a physical exam consists of checking blood flow in a patient's legs.[17][18]


Peripheral vascular disease-ulcer

Treatment varies based on the type of vascular disease being treated. In treating renal artery disease, a 2014 study indicates that balloon angioplasty can improve diastolic blood pressure and potentially reduce antihypertensive drug requirements.[19] In the case of peripheral artery disease, treatment to prevent complications is important; without treatment, sores or gangrene (tissue death) may occur.

More generally, treatments for vascular disease may include:[4]

  • Lowering cholesterol levels
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Lowering blood glucose
  • Changes in diet
  • Increasing physical activity (as recommended by a healthcare provider)
  • Weight loss
  • Quitting smoking
  • Stress reduction


  1. ^ a b "Peripheral Arterial Disease: MedlinePlus". Retrieved 2015-06-23.
  2. ^ a b "Renal Artery Stenosis". Retrieved 2015-06-23.
  3. ^ a b "Vascular Diseases: MedlinePlus". Retrieved 2015-06-23.
  4. ^ a b "How Is Peripheral Arterial Disease Treated? - NHLBI, NIH". Retrieved 2015-06-23.
  5. ^ Hirsch, Alan T.; Haskal, Ziv J.; Hertzer, Norman R.; Bakal, Curtis W.; Creager, Mark A.; Halperin, Jonathan L.; Hiratzka, Loren F.; Murphy, William R.C.; Olin, Jeffrey W.; Puschett, Jules B.; Rosenfield, Kenneth A.; Sacks, David; Stanley, James C.; Taylor, Lloyd M.; White, Christopher J.; White, John; White, Rodney A.; Antman, Elliott M.; Smith, Sidney C.; Adams, Cynthia D.; Anderson, Jeffrey L.; Faxon, David P.; Fuster, Valentin; Gibbons, Raymond J.; Halperin, Jonathan L.; Hiratzka, Loren F.; Hunt, Sharon A.; Jacobs, Alice K.; Nishimura, Rick; et al. (2006). "ACC/AHA 2005 Guidelines for the Management of Patients With Peripheral Arterial Disease (Lower Extremity, Renal, Mesenteric, and Abdominal Aortic): A Collaborative Report from the American Association for Vascular Surgery/Society for Vascular Surgery,⁎ Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, Society for Vascular Medicine and Biology, Society of Interventional Radiology, and the ACC/AHA Task Force on Practice Guidelines (Writing Committee to Develop Guidelines for the Management of Patients With Peripheral Arterial Disease)". Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 47 (6): e1–e192. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2006.02.024. Retrieved 2016-02-02.
  6. ^ "Erythromelalgia". 2017-10-18. Retrieved 2019-01-04.
  7. ^ "Thromboangiitis obliterans: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia". Retrieved 2015-06-23.
  8. ^ "Raynaud's Disease: MedlinePlus". Retrieved 2015-06-23.
  9. ^ "Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC): MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia". Retrieved 2015-06-25.
  10. ^ "Stroke". 2017-10-24. Retrieved 2022-06-29.
  11. ^ Rajendran, Peramaiyan; Rengarajan, Thamaraiselvan; Thangavel, Jayakumar; Nishigaki, Yutaka; Sakthisekaran, Dhanapal; Sethi, Gautam; Nishigaki, Ikuo (2013). "The Vascular Endothelium and Human Diseases". International Journal of Biological Sciences. 9 (10): 1057–1069. doi:10.7150/ijbs.7502. ISSN 1449-2288. PMC 3831119. PMID 24250251.
  12. ^ Bikfalvi, Andreas (2013-12-19). Encyclopedic Reference of Vascular Biology & Pathology. Springer. ISBN 9783642570636.
  13. ^ Rubin, Emanuel; Damjanov, Ivan (2013-11-11). Pathology Reviews · 1989. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 9781461245025.
  14. ^ Gunstone, Frank D.; Harwood, John L.; Dijkstra, Albert J. (2007-03-13). The Lipid Handbook with CD-ROM, Third Edition. CRC Press. ISBN 9781420009675.
  15. ^ Rolfes, Sharon Rady; Pinna, Kathryn; Whitney, Ellie (2011-06-20). Understanding Normal and Clinical Nutrition. Cengage Learning. ISBN 978-0840068453.
  16. ^ Ząbczyk, Michał; Natorska, Joanna; Undas, Anetta (2021-07-05). "Fibrin Clot Properties in Atherosclerotic Vascular Disease: From Pathophysiology to Clinical Outcomes". Journal of Clinical Medicine. 10 (13): 2999. doi:10.3390/jcm10132999. ISSN 2077-0383. PMC 8268932. PMID 34279484.
  17. ^ "How Is Peripheral Arterial Disease Diagnosed? - NHLBI, NIH". Retrieved 2015-06-23.
  18. ^ Andras, Alina; Ferket, Bart (2014). "Screening for peripheral arterial disease". Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (4): CD010835. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD010835.pub2. PMID 24711093.
  19. ^ Jenks, Sara; Yeoh, Su Ern; Conway, Bryan R. (2014). "Balloon angioplasty, with and without stenting, versus medical therapy for hypertensive patients with renal artery stenosis". The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 12 (12): CD002944. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD002944.pub2. ISSN 1469-493X. PMC 7138037. PMID 25478936.

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