Approach to peripheral arterial disease in the elderly

Balkanay O. O., Omeroglu S. N.

TURK KARDIYOLOJI DERNEGI ARSIVI-ARCHIVES OF THE TURKISH SOCIETY OF CARDIOLOGY, vol.45, pp.96-101, 2017 (ESCI) identifier identifier identifier


The prevalence of peripheral arterial disease, which usually develops on the basis of atherosclerosis and develops as a result of chronic arterial occlusive pathology, increases with age. Peripheral artery disease in the elderly patient population may be asymptomatic due to restrictive conditions associated with immobilization. Concurrent cerebrovascular disease and coronary artery disease risk and mortality rates are higher in elderly patients with peripheral artery disease. The life expectancy in patients with peripheral arterial disease is worse than in prostate cancer patients. Leading risk factors include advanced age, smoking, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, hyperhomocysteinemia and hypothyroidism. The most important physical examination component is the palpation of the entire peripheral pulses. The cases in which the ankle-brachial systolic pressure index measurement for clinical diagnosis is below 0.9 are defined as peripheral arterial disease. It is aimed to completely correct or improve the existing clinical symptoms and to increase the survival rates of the patients. The existing risk factors are modified as the first step of the treatment. Smoking cessation, treatment of hypertension primarily with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, lowering of hemoglobin A1c levels below 7%, anti-hyperlipidemic treatment primarily with statin, antiaggregant therapy primarily with clopidogrel, cilostazol therapy, good foot care, controlled exercise program, if necessary, interventional or operational revascularization, amputation in the presence of irreversible effects are the main treatment components. Indications for major revascularization include the presence of resting pain in the limb and / or open and long-lasting unhealed wound in the extremity and / or severe complaints of intermittant claudication that will result in limitation in daily activities. It should not be forgotten that, all the clinical decisions to be taken in the treatment of elderly patients with peripheral arterial disease are determined by the patient's physical condition, current clinical condition and the expectation level of the patient.