Angiology

Angiology is concerned with the functioning and diseases of the circulatory and lymphatic systems.


The major risk factors are: smoking, age > 50, male, high cholesterol and triglyceride values, hypertension, obesity and diabetes mellitus.

The main pathological conditions are:

  • atherosclerosis
  • aneurysms
  • vasculitis
  • vasospasms
  • arterial embolisms

Atherosclerosis is the most relevant condition and could affect about 1/3 of ischemic heart disease population.
This disease is progressive and characterized by endothelial disease, inflammation, lipids accumulation and plaques formation within the vessel walls.
In the early stages, patients may be asymptomatic or have mild symptoms. In the later stages of the disease, however, the symptoms depend on the affected area of the body and may be more severe.

The most common symptoms and clinical signs are:

  • numbness and/or weakness of the affected limb
  • changes in skin color of the affected limb
  • structural skin changes that appears shiny, thinned and with anomalies of the cutaneous annexes
  • skin lesions
  • erectile dysfunction
  • intermittent claudication, typical arterial disease of the lower limbs symptom, that describes muscle pain on mild exertion and is relieved by a short period of rest

Venous vessels diseases affect the superficial and deep venous system of the limbs.

The main pathological conditions are:

  • Varicose veins are a medical condition in which superficial veins become enlarged and twisted.
    The major risk factors are: family history, prolonged standing and prolonged exposure to hot environments.
    The most common symptoms and clinical signs are:
    • presence of bluish cords that run just below the surface of the skin,
    • swelling of the affected limb,
    • tension and heaviness of the affected limb.
    A possible complication is thrombosis due to venous circulation stasis.
  • Telangiectasias, dilated or broken blood vessels located near the surface of the skin or mucous membranes that appear as fine bluish-red lines. They could be both idiopathic (without any apparent cause), and associated with inflammatory, congestive and degenerative processes.
  • Deep and superficial vein thrombosis, partial or complete vein obstruction caused by a blood clot.
    Both deep and superficial veins are affected.
    Deep vein thrombosis compared to superficial thrombosis can lead to major cardiovascular events: clots can fragment and migrate to other parts of the body causing pulmonary embolisms or paradoxical embolisms in case of patent foramen ovale or atrial septal defect.
    The major risk factors are:
    • prolonged immobility
    • combined estrogen-progestogen therapy
    • thrombophilic conditions both acquired (i.e. presence of antiphospholipid-anticardiolipin autoantibodies and lupus anticoagulants) and hereditary (i.e. factor V Leiden and factor II mutations, protein C, protein S and antithrombin III deficiency)

The lymphatic system consists of lymphatic vessels connected to lymph nodes and is responsible for transporting the lymph throughout the body. is a network of tissues and organs è composto da una rete di linfonodi connessi dai vasi linfatici ed è preposto al trasporto della linfa in tutto l'organismo.
It is part of the circulatory system and the immune system.

The main lymphatic system disorders are:

  • primitive due to genetic pathologies (i.e. Milroy and Meige's disease)
  • secondary due to lymphatic obstruction caused by injury, tumors, severe burns, diabetes, infections, surgery, radiation therapy.

The most common symptoms and clinical signs are:

  • lymphedema, soft tissue swelling
  • tension
  • weakness of the affected limb


ProKardia, through a team of specialists, offers an assistance aimed to ensure:
  • vasculopathy prior diagnosis with targeted diagnostic tests
  • identification and treatment of trigger factors
  • risk stratification
  • therapeutic management and prevention

References:

  • European Heart Journal (2018) 39, 763–821
  • Bauersachs R et al. Burden of Coronary Artery Disease and Peripheral Artery Disease: A Literature Review. Cardiovasc Ther. 2019;2019:8295054. November 2019




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