Fast Five Quiz: Type 2 Diabetes and Peripheral Artery Disease

Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD


February 22, 2023

Intermittent claudication typically causes pain that is triggered by physical activity. It is critical to determine the amount of physical activity that sets off pain; usually, vascular surgeons relate the onset of pain to a particular walking distance expressed in terms of street blocks (eg, two-block claudication). Using a standard gauge of walking distance helps measure patients' condition before and after therapy.

Other key aspects of claudication pain are that the pain is reproducible within the same muscle groups and that it ceases with a resting period of 2-5 minutes.

The location of the pain in patients with PAD is correlated to the anatomic location of the arterial lesions. PAD is most common in the distal superficial femoral artery (located just above the knee joint), which corresponds to claudication in the calf muscle area (the muscle group just distal to the arterial disease). When atherosclerosis is disseminated throughout the aortoiliac area, thigh and buttock muscle claudication dominates.

Learn more about the clinical presentation of PAD.


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