Vasospastic and other
                  Vascular Disorders

Michael N. Tameo, M.D.
Ronald L. Nath, M.D. , F.A.C.S.

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Vasospastic and other vascular disorders refer to a group of conditions that affect arteries in various locations and in various ways, such as constriction/spasm, inflammation, aneurysm formation, dissection and blood clot formation.

The symptoms vary depending on the specific disorder present and can include narrowing or spasm of the distal arteries in the hands and/or feet, which reduces the amount of blood flow causing symptoms of pain, discoloration, and numbness. Other symptoms can include headaches, blindness, extremity claudication (pain with exertion), organ dysfunction, high blood pressure, and skin lesions or ulcers. These conditions include Raynaud’s Disease, Buerger’s Disease (also known as Thromboangiitis Obliterans), Takayasu’s Disease, Temporal (Giant Cell) Arteritis, Fibromuscular Dysplasia, Segmental Arterial Mediolysis, Radiation Arteritis, Pseudoxanthoma Elasticum, Ergotism, Marfan’s Syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Kawasaki’s Disease, Polyarteritis Nodosa, Behcet’s Disease, Aortic Coarctation, Neurofibromatosis, Wegener’s Granulomatosis, and Pyoderma Granulosum.

Complications from these conditions can include blindness, stroke, organ dysfunction/failure, life-threatening bleeding from rupture of an aneurysmal or dissected artery, and loss of limb.
Diagnosis and management of these conditions requires a thorough history and physical exam by a vascular surgeon. An ultrasound and/or non-invasive arterial study, which we perform at our office in our accredited non-invasive vascular lab, is often required. Patients can receive the required test and be seen by their vascular surgeon at the same visit. Occasionally, laboratory studies, a computed tomography (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study, or arteriogram (injection of contrast dye into the arteries) is required.

Treatment is dependent on the specific disorder present and may involve medical therapy, a minimally invasive (endovascular) treatment with balloon angioplasty and/or stenting, open surgical reconstruction, or a combination of these.