Free
Articles  |   October 2000
Diagnosis and medical management of patients with intermittent claudication
Article Information
Cardiovascular Disorders
Articles   |   October 2000
Diagnosis and medical management of patients with intermittent claudication
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, October 2000, Vol. 100, 10S-14S. doi:
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, October 2000, Vol. 100, 10S-14S. doi:
Abstract

Intermittent claudication is a symptom complex associated with atherosclerosis of the aorta and lower extremities. It is a clinical marker of systemic atherosclerosis, and therefore, management cannot be considered isolated from treatment of underlying risk factors of atherosclerosis. The focus of the management is twofold. The first is to reduce morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular events, including myocardial infarction and stroke. The second focus is to improve the functional status of patients who have impairment of daily activities secondary to symptoms of claudication through pharmacologic and rehabilitative means, that is, exercise. Exercise is the cornerstone of therapy. A conservative approach is favored in patients who have mild and moderate symptoms of claudication. Intervention with percutaneous techniques or surgery is generally reserved for patients who have severe impairment of lifestyle or threatened tissue.