Differential Diagnosis of Common Peripheral Vascular Diseases
Due to advances in medical therapeutics there has been a definite increase in the life span of man, and thereby an increase in the incidence of degenerative diseases is seen.
The most common changes are those seen in general arteriosclerosis which may or may not be associated with diabetes mellitus. Arteriosclerotic changes may occur in any part of the vascular tree and quite frequently affect the smaller peripheral vessels. As the circulation is decreased, symptoms occur that frequently bring the patient to the physician.
Thrombo-angiitis obliterans, which is also known as Buerger’s disease, is an inflammatory reaction that occurs in the arteries and veins of the extremities resulting in formation of thrombi and occlusion of these vessels.
Another disease in this group is clinically known as Raynaud’s disease or symmetrical gangrene. In this entity intermittent spasm takes place in the digital arteries. This is associated with typical changes in color and in some instances the condition progresses to necrosis and local gangrene. Arteriosclerosis, with or without diabetes mellitus, thrombo-angiitis obliterans, and Raynaud’s disease constitute the greatest percentage of peripheral vascular disturbances seen by the physician.
Even after extensive research and clinical investigation no definite causative agent can be named for arteriosclerosis. Prolonged and intensive activity may play a part, infectious diseases such as typhoid fever, and syphilis, diabetes, and prostatitis may be contributing factors. The relationship between arteriosclerosis and diabetes is well recognized. A child with diabetes may show signs of arteriosclerosis. Essential hypertension also has a definite association. . .