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Acute lower limb ischaemia 

Acute lower limb ischaemia
Chapter:
Acute lower limb ischaemia
Author(s):

D. Julian A. Scott

and Jai V. Patel

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199658220.003.0023
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date: 15 September 2019

Acute lower limb ischaemia is a common vascular surgical emergency. Patients present with a painful, pulseless, leg with varying degrees of sensory and motor deficit, depending on the stage and severity of ischaemia. The condition mandates prompt diagnosis as delay in administering definitive treatment can have catastrophic consequences to both the limb and the patient. A rapid assessment of the underlying aetiology (embolic vs. in situ thrombosis) and the stage of ischaemia at presentation (irreversible vs. threatened vs. viable) is essential. Imaging, although very useful in guiding management in the threatened or viable limb, should not delay definitive treatment, and may be inappropriate in the irreversibly or immediately threatened ischaemic limb. Definitive treatment should be tailored to the individual patient’s presentation and circumstances, utilizing both vascular and endovascular options.

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