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A Journal on Angiology

Official Journal of the International Union of Angiology, the International Union of Phlebology and the Central European Vascular Forum
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International Angiology 2013 February;32(1):42-51


language: English

Practical importance and modern methods of the evaluation of skin microcirculation during chronic lower limb ischemia in patients with peripheral arterial occlusive disease and/or diabetes

Kluz J., Małecki R., Adamiec R.

Department of Angiology, Arterial Hypertension and Diabetology, Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland


Skin ischemia is one of the crucial phenomena during chronic lower limb ischemia in patients with peripheral arterial occlusive disease and/or diabetes. However, risk stratification for development of ischemic ulceration and/or skin necrosis in those patients is not easy, mostly due to the complex structure of the dermal vascular bed and limited possibilities for studying the skin capillaries in everyday practice. All definitions of critical limb ischemia thus far have considered mostly the clinical symptoms and the degree of macrocirculatory impairment. Despite the fact that the reduction of absolute dermal perfusion and improper distribution of perfusion in ischemic feet, primarily diminished perfusion or even a complete loss of blood flow in nutritional capillaries, rather than arterial occlusion per se, is the eventual reason for critical limb ischemia symptoms, the vessels of the microcirculation are not routinely assessed in clinical practice. Monitoring of microcirculatory parameters, as a part of integrated diagnostic approach, may have a considerable value in the evaluation of risk, progression of the disease and the effectiveness of therapeutic intervention in individual patients. Relative simplicity and availability of different non-invasive methods, including video capillaroscopy and laser Doppler fluxmetry, should constitute a premise to their wider application in clinical management of chronic limb ischemia.

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