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Arterial insufficiency

Definition

Arterial insufficiency is a lack of enough blood flow through the arteries.

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Causes, incidence, and risk factors

One of the most common causes of arterial insufficiency is atherosclerotic disease.

Symptoms

Arterial insufficiency can affect many different parts of the body. The specific symptoms may indicate which artery is involved.

If heart arteries are involved, it can cause symptoms of heart attack.

If brain arteries are involved, it can cause symptoms of stroke.

If the arteries of the lower abdomen or legs are involved, you might have repeated episodes of leg cramping when you walk.

Arterial insufficiency also can affect the arteries in the abdomen, causing pain after you eat meals.

References

Goldman L. Approach to the patient with possible cardiovascular disease. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 48.


Review Date: 11/15/2009
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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