Peripheral vascular disease
(PVD), commonly referred to as
peripheral artery disease
peripheral artery occlusive disease
peripheral obliterative arteriopathy
, refers to the obstruction of large arteries
within the coronary, aortic arch vasculature, or brain. PVD can result from atherosclerosis, inflammatory processes leading to stenosis, an embolism, or thrombus formation. It causes either acute or chronic ischemia (lack of blood supply). Often PVD is a term used to refer to atherosclerotic blockages found in the lower extremity.
PVD also includes a subset of diseases classified as microvascular diseases resulting from episodal narrowing of the arteries (Raynaud's phenomenon), or widening thereof erythromelalgia, i.e. vascular spasms.