Chronic Limb Ischemia: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Severe obstruction of the arteries causes diminished blood flow to the limbs causes critical limb ischemia (hands, feet and legs). It may cause excruciating discomfort and possibly lead to skin ulcers.

The thickening of an artery’s lining produced by atherosclerosis is the primary cause of Chronic Limb Ischemia(CLI), an advanced stage of peripheral arterial disease (buildup of plaque). Because of the constriction of the artery, blood flow to the body’s extremities is reduced.

Signs of ischemia of the limbs that may lead to critical limb disease. Ischemia is characterized by muscular soreness, burning, or cramping that sometimes goes away with rest. Ischemia symptoms often occurs after strenuous exercise.

Critical limb ischemia may present with the following

Chronic Limb Ischemia Symptoms:

  • Leg or foot discomfort that is unbearable even while lying down. A lower-than-average body temperature is relative to the rest of the body.
  • Slowly healing wounds, infections, or ulcers on the toes or feet
  • Gangrene
  • Legs or feet skin turn shiny, smooth, and dry
  • Thickening of the toenails.
  • Legs or feet have no or a weak pulse.

Risk factors for chronic limb ischemia:

  • A person’s age (over 60 years and post-menopausal women)
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • An inactive way of life
  • High triglycerides
  • Blood pressure that is above normal
  • Vascular disease
  • Obesity/overweight
  • Family history of atherosclerosis or claudication


When it comes to Chronic Limb Ischemia Diagnosis and treatment, timely action is key. Medical experts do a comprehensive clinical evaluation as the first indication of this serious disease. There are a number of diagnostic procedures that might be used:

When ischemia occurs in the lower extremities of the body, the ankle-brachial index test is recommended. It’s a painless way to check the blood pressure in your legs.
In terms of non-invasive artery scanning, duplex ultrasound scanning is the best option.

Stenosis may be assessed using magnetic resonance arteriography (MRA), a procedure that uses magnetic resonance to examine the blood arteries.
A contrast-enhanced x-ray of the arteries is called an arteriogram, and it may be used to detect stenosis.


Peripheral artery disease may be prevented using the following measures:

  • Actively participate in physical activities to keep your body and mind healthy.
  • Smoking should be avoided at all costs.
  • Regularly work out.
  • Maintain a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet.
  • Blood pressure and glucose levels should be kept under control.
  • Take control of your emotions.

Alternatives for treatment include–

  • Medications
    In order to prevent the condition from worsening, prescribed medications are used to lessen the impact of the risk factors that contribute to the disease. Medications to prevent blood clots or infections may also be given as a part of Chronic Limb Ischemia Treatment.
  • Invasive vascular therapy
    A catheter is used in all of these procedures, although they’re among the least intrusive options. There may be a need for an angioplasty to open the blockages and enhance blood flow to the limb in question. Using a laser to remove tiny pieces of the plaque, a catheter with a revolving blade then removes the plaque from the artery by physically removing it from the artery.
  • Operation on the aorta
    The procedure is advised when the endovascular therapy of the arterial system is unsatisfactory. The damaged artery section is removed or bypassed using a patient’s vein or a synthetic graft during this treatment.

You should contact Dr Raghu – Best Cardiologist in India, if you are looking for assistance. His approach to patient care is unique in that he collaborates with patients, providing them with information and letting them keep tabs on the progress of their ill-treatment.

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