Vascular disease

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


Vascular disease is a class of diseases of the blood vessels – the arteries and veins of the circulatory system of the body. It is a subgroup of cardiovascular disease. Disorders in this vast network of blood vessels, can cause a range of health problems which can be severe or prove fatal.[1]

Associated medical conditions


There are several types of vascular disease, (which is a subgroup of cardiovascular disease) among them are:[2]


Vascular disease is a pathological state of large and medium muscular arteries and is triggered by endothelial cell dysfunction. [8]Because of factors like pathogens, oxidized LDL particles and other inflammatory stimuli endothelial cells become active. [9]The process causes thickening of the vessel wall, forming a plaque that consists of proliferating smooth muscle cells, macrophages and lymphocytes.[10] [11]The plaque results in a restricted blood flow which will decrease the amount of oxygen and nutrients that reach certain organs,[12] the plaque might rupture causing the formation of clots.


It can be difficult to make a Vascular disease diagnosis since there are a variety of symptoms that a person can have, also family history and a physical examination are important. The physical exam may be different depending on the type of vascular disease. In the case of a peripheral vascular disease the physical exam consists in checking the blood flow in the legs.[13][14]


Treatment varies with the each type of Vascular disease, in the case of Renal artery disease information from a meta-analysis indicated that balloon angioplasty results in improvement of diastolic blood pressure and a reduction in antihypertensive drug requirements.[15] In the case of Peripheral artery disease preventing complications is important, without treatment sores or gangrene (tissue death) may occur. Among the treatments are: [16]

  • Quit smoking
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Lower blood glucose
  • Physical activity


  1. "Vascular Diseases: MedlinePlus". Retrieved 2015-06-23.
  2. "". Retrieved 2015-06-23. External link in |title= (help)
  3. "Peripheral Arterial Disease: MedlinePlus". Retrieved 2015-06-23.
  4. "Renal Artery Stenosis". Retrieved 2015-06-23.
  5. "Thromboangiitis obliterans: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia". Retrieved 2015-06-23.
  6. "Raynaud's Disease: MedlinePlus". Retrieved 2015-06-23.
  7. "Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC): MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia". Retrieved 2015-06-25.
  8. Rajendran, Peramaiyan; Rengarajan, Thamaraiselvan; Thangavel, Jayakumar; Nishigaki, Yutaka; Sakthisekaran, Dhanapal; Sethi, Gautam; Nishigaki, Ikuo (2013). "The Vascular Endothelium and Human Diseases". International Journal of Biological Sciences. 9 (10): 1057–1069. doi:10.7150/ijbs.7502. ISSN 1449-2288. PMC 3831119. PMID 24250251.
  9. Bikfalvi, Andreas (2013-12-19). Encyclopedic Reference of Vascular Biology & Pathology. Springer. ISBN 9783642570636.
  10. Rubin, Emanuel; Damjanov, Ivan (2013-11-11). Pathology Reviews · 1989. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 9781461245025.
  11. Gunstone, Frank D.; Harwood, John L.; Dijkstra, Albert J. (2007-03-13). The Lipid Handbook with CD-ROM, Third Edition. CRC Press. ISBN 9781420009675.
  12. Rolfes, Sharon Rady; Pinna, Kathryn; Whitney, Ellie (2011-06-20). Understanding Normal and Clinical Nutrition. Cengage Learning. ISBN 084006845X.
  13. "How Is Peripheral Arterial Disease Diagnosed? - NHLBI, NIH". Retrieved 2015-06-23.
  14. Andras, Alina; Ferket, Bart (2014). Screening for peripheral arterial disease. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. ISBN 1465-1858.
  15. Jenks, Sara; Yeoh, Su Ern; Conway, Bryan R. (2014). "Balloon angioplasty, with and without stenting, versus medical therapy for hypertensive patients with renal artery stenosis". The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 12: CD002944. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD002944.pub2. ISSN 1469-493X. PMID 25478936.
  16. "How Is Peripheral Arterial Disease Treated? - NHLBI, NIH". Retrieved 2015-06-23.