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REVIEWS  CRITICAL LIMB ISCHEMIA AND DIABETIC FOOT: AN UPDATE 

The Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 2013 December;54(6):671-8

Copyright © 2013 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Medical therapy for critical limb ischemia and the diabetic foot: an update

Lobo R. 1, Kiernan T. J. 1, Jaff M. R. 2

1 Department of Cardiology, University Hospital Limerick Graduate Entry Medical School, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland; 2 Institute for Heart, Vascular and Stroke Care Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA


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Critical limb ischemia is the most severe manifestation of chronic peripheral artery disease (PAD). The goal of medical care is to provide symptomatic relief in patients who are unsuitable for percutaneous or surgical revascularization and to reduce systemic cardiovascular risk. PAD is a common manifestation of systemic atherosclerosis and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. PAD represents a marker for premature cardiovascular events. Patients with PAD, even in the absence of a history of myocardial infarction or ischemic stroke, have approximately the same relative risk of death from cardiovascular causes as do patients with a history of coronary or cerebrovascular disease alone. The PARTNERS study demonstrated that patients with PAD were less likely to receive appropriate treatment for their atherosclerotic risk factors than those who were being treated for coronary artery disease. The long term prognosis of patients with PAD is significantly worse than for patients with coronary artery disease alone. Newer therapies are being investigated to treat patients with critical limb ischemia who are unsuitable candidates for revascularization, and these will be discussed briefly.

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