Vascular obstruction Vascular occlusion

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Lower limbs

The most common type of pathology. More than 50% of the identified cases of vascular obstruction occur in the popliteal and femoral arteries.

It is necessary to take immediate measures for therapeutic treatment if at least one of the 5 signs is detected:

  • Extensive and ongoing pain in the lower limb. When rearranging the legs, painful sensations intensify many times.
  • In the area of ​​passage of arteries, a pulse is not felt. This is a sign of occlusion.
  • The affected area is characterized by bloodless and cold skin.
  • Feeling of numbness of the leg, goosebumps, slight tingling are signs of a beginning vascular lesion. After some time, numbness of the limb may be observed.
  • Paresis, inability to take away or raise a leg.

If these symptoms appear, it is urgent to contact a specialist. With the running processes of occlusion, tissue necrosis can begin, and subsequently – amputation of the limb.

This type of pathology takes the third place in distribution. The lack of oxygen in the cells of the brain and central nervous system is caused by blockage of the carotid artery from the inside.

These factors cause:

  • Dizziness;
  • Memory losses;
  • Fuzzy consciousness;
  • Numbness of the extremities and paralysis of the muscles of the face;
  • Development of dementia;
  • Stroke.

The narrowing of these large vessels leads to damage to the occipital sector of the brain. As a result, the patient has speech impairment, loss of consciousness, temporary memory lapses and periodic paralysis of the legs.

This type of vascular lesion is the rarest. It is dangerous for an asymptomatic course with a sharp loss of vision. Usually occurs between the ages of 45-50.

Any type of occlusion of the left or right artery is dangerous, can lead to irreversible consequences for humans.


In the development of symptoms of acute occlusion of arteries and veins, an important role is played by:

  • violation of the flow of arterial blood as a result of embolism of the artery (tissue ischemia develops);
  • difficulty in the outflow of venous blood as a result of venous thrombosis and venous sinuses (venous stasis occurs);
  • a combination of impaired blood flow and outflow.

The fact that the disease manifested itself is evidenced by a number of signs. Symptoms of occlusion depend on the location of the blockage of the vessel.

Vessels of the heart. Occlusion of coronary vessels supplying blood to the heart muscle is the most dangerous manifestation of pathology that occurs as a result of ischemia or atherosclerosis.

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The chronic course of the disease can cause myocardial infarction and human death. Signs of blockage of the heart vessels are persistent pain behind the sternum (even at rest after taking the medication).

Peripheral vessels. Signs of blockage of the vessels of the lower extremities is divided into several stages that differ from each other.

  • 1st stage. The skin is pale, limbs are cold. With prolonged walking, one feels very tired in the calf muscles.
  • 2 stage. In the process of walking, there is an increasing pain that does not allow you to move over longer distances. Lameness appears.
  • 3 stage. Unremitting, sharp pain, even at rest.
  • 4 stage. Ulcers and gangrene-like changes form on the skin.

To suspect occlusion, it is enough to have at least one of the listed symptoms.

Cerebral vessels. Inadequate nutrition of brain cells is fraught with strokes, paralysis, dementia and sudden death. A blockage in the carotid arteries is accompanied by impaired coordination, nausea or vomiting, slurred speech, and decreased vision. Ischemic attacks are clear signs of a stroke.

Obstruction in the cervical region is indicated by:

  • Gradually increasing pain at the site of thrombus proliferation;
  • There is no pulse in the clogged vessel;
  • Lack of nutrition leads to pallor and peeling of the skin, wrinkles;
  • A feeling of numbness, goosebumps, paralysis can subsequently develop.

Depending on the side of the development of occlusion (left or right), the vision of one or the other eye may be impaired.

Clinical forms

Atherosclerotic lesions of the carotid arteries most often differ in the localization of the main process:

  • Atherosclerosis of the common carotid arteries – rarely contributes to ischemic stroke, even with complete blockage of the common carotid artery, blood flow through the internal carotid can be maintained. However, there may be cerebral disorders – poor memory, general weakness, headaches.
  • Atherosclerosis of bifurcation of the common carotid artery – atherosclerotic plaques narrow the entrance to the internal carotid artery and can completely block it. This is the most common form of lesion. With this localization, transient ischemic attacks and ischemic strokes most often develop.
  • Atherosclerosis of the intracerebral carotid arteries – plaques are located in the carotid arteries and their main branches. Ischemic stroke often associated with thrombosis of narrowed arteries.

Ultrasound identifies two main types of atherosclerotic plaques:

  • Stable plaque – narrowing of the artery has smooth contours, without sagging edges, with a slight acceleration of blood flow on the plaque.
  • Unstable plaque – more often calcified plaque with torn contours, moving elements, significant turbulence of blood flow during Dopplerography can be noted.

According to the degree of narrowing of the carotid artery, there are:

  • Hemodynamically insignificant stenosis (narrowing of the artery by less than 70%, without local acceleration of blood flow)
  • Hemodynamically significant stenosis (narrowing of the artery by more than 70%, with accelerated blood flow)
  • Occlusion – complete blockage of the carotid artery
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Diagnostic study

Occlusion of any form and stage requires a thorough examination. The symptoms of the disease are diagnosed, specific studies are prescribed. Diagnostics is carried out in stationary conditions.

  • A vascular surgeon examines a site of suspected blockage of blood vessels. Visually, swelling, dryness, peeling and thinning of the skin can be distinguished.
  • A thorough scan of the arteries reveals specific places of localization of blood clots.
  • Blood flow in all vessels is examined.
  • With insufficient history, X-ray methods and the administration of a contrast agent are used.

In addition to hardware diagnostics, it is mandatory to study the patient’s blood tests, including cholesterol.

Diagnosis allows you to identify places and degree of obstruction, to provide for complications.

Symptoms of blockage of blood vessels

Atherosclerosis of the carotid arteries can be asymptomatic or cause complaints associated with impaired cerebral blood flow. Most often, patients may complain of temporary impairment of brain function (transient ischemic attack) or persistent prolapse (ischemic stroke).

TIA occurs when cerebral blood flow is briefly impaired. This is the initial phase of acute cerebrovascular accident, which is reversible. It has the same symptoms as a stroke, but these symptoms disappear in a few minutes or hours.

With TIA, emergency medical care is needed because it is impossible to predict whether it will progress to a stroke. Immediate treatment can save lives and increase the chances of a full recovery.

Modern studies have shown that patients who have had TIA are 10 times more likely to suffer from an extensive stroke than a person who did not have TIA.

  • Sudden loss of vision, blurred vision, difficulty in having one or both eyes.
  • Weakness, tingling, or numbness on one s >

Ischemic stroke and transient ischemic attack begin the same way, so any ischemic stroke can be called an ischemic attack, if the symptoms completely regress within 24 hours from the onset of the disease. The presence of a time interval between the onset of stroke symptoms and the death of brain regions allows an emergency operation to restore cerebral blood flow.

How to treat

It is possible to treat occlusion of the extremities only after establishing an accurate diagnosis and stage of the disease.

Stage 1 – conservative treatment with the use of drugs: fibrinolytic, antispasmodic and thrombolytic drugs.

Physical procedures are also prescribed (magnetotherapy, barotherapy), entailing a positive trend.

Stage 2 is based on surgery. The patient undergoes thromboembolism, bypass surgery, which allows to restore the correct blood flow in the venous arteries.

Stage 3 – immediate surgical treatment: excision of a thrombus with bypass surgery, prosthetics of a part of the affected vessel, sometimes partial amputation.

Stage 4 – the beginning death of tissues requires immediate amputation of the limb, as gentle operation can provoke a patient’s fatal outcome.

After the operations, an important role in the positive effect is played by subsequent therapy, which prevents re-embolism.

It is important to begin treatment in the first hours of the development of occlusion, otherwise the gangrene development process will begin, which will lead to further disability with loss of limb.

Course of the disease

Appearing, atherosclerotic plaques can no longer resolve, but only gradually progress. The growth rate of atherosclerotic plaque depends on many risk factors, on cholesterol. All people over 50 years of age are recommended to perform an ultrasound scan of the carotid arteries annually in order to exclude the development of atherosclerotic plaques and the risk of ischemic stroke.

With the development of complications of atherosclerosis of the carotid arteries, dyscirculatory encephalopathy quickly progresses. Frequent TIA, and especially ischemic stroke, contribute to the death of part of the brain tissue and impaired brain function. Patients with atherosclerosis of the carotid arteries often develop vascular dementia (dementia).

After restoration of patency of the carotid artery, the phenomena of cerebrovascular insufficiency stop, the likelihood of repeated disturbances of cerebral circulation is significantly reduced.

Lower limbs


A number of measures are used to prevent blockage of blood vessels:

  • Proper nutrition, enriched with vitamins and fiber, with the exception of fatty and fried foods;
  • Weight loss;
  • Constant blood pressure monitoring;
  • Treatment of arterial hypertension;
  • Stress avoidance;
  • Minimal consumption of alcohol and tobacco;
  • Light exercise.

In the presence of thrombosis, do not neglect the doctor’s recommendations. Do not avoid surgical interventions.

Timely started therapy with the development of occlusion of any type is the key to recovery. In almost 90% of cases, earlier treatment and surgery restores the correct blood flow in the arteries.

Later treatment begins with amputation of the limb or sudden death. The death of a person can provoke the onset of sepsis or renal failure.

To prevent the development of occlusion of the lower extremities, you need to follow the rules that prevent the development of vascular obstruction, have a positive effect on the whole body. It is necessary:

  • give up alcohol and smoking;
  • get rid of excess weight;
  • follow a diet;
  • to perform physical exercises;
  • to do morning runs;
  • normalize blood pressure.

Patients over 45 years old need to lead a healthy lifestyle, timely diagnose and treat atherosclerosis, regular treatment in a sanatorium is useful.


Carotid arteriosclerosis has a significant risk of ischemic stroke. With asymptomatic narrowing of the internal carotid artery more than 70%, the risk of ischemic stroke exceeds 5% per year. If the patient has had episodes of cerebrovascular accident, then this risk is already 25% per year.

The risk of ischemic stroke in asymptomatic atherosclerotic plaques with a narrowing of less than 70% does not exceed that in patients without atherosclerosis.

After adequate restoration of blood circulation in the carotid arteries, the risk of ischemic stroke decreases by more than 3 times.

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Svetlana Borszavich

General practitioner, cardiologist, with active work in therapy, gastroenterology, cardiology, rheumatology, immunology with allergology.
Fluent in general clinical methods for the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease, as well as electrocardiography, echocardiography, monitoring of cholera on an ECG and daily monitoring of blood pressure.
The treatment complex developed by the author significantly helps with cerebrovascular injuries and metabolic disorders in the brain and vascular diseases: hypertension and complications caused by diabetes.
The author is a member of the European Society of Therapists, a regular participant in scientific conferences and congresses in the field of cardiology and general medicine. She has repeatedly participated in a research program at a private university in Japan in the field of reconstructive medicine.