Ross, James V.
September 1965
Angiology;Sep1965, Vol. 16 Issue 9, p514
Academic Journal
The phrase "peripheral vascular disease" is one of the most misleading designations in medical terminology. The classification is not restricted to diseases of the blood vessels of the extremities but encompasses all vessels distal to the heart. Although the unfortunate choice of this term has led to much confusion and misunderstanding, diseases affecting all peripheral vessels are often manifested by changes in the skin of the extremities and these changes can he detected by careful observation, The development of abnormal color changes, often with associated lesions, is perhaps second only to pain among the reasons for the patient's coming to the physician, hut the physician often is not aware of the normal and abnormal variations of the color of the skin or of the significance of warmth and coldness of the skin. The purpose of this paper is to emphasize the prudent interpretation of color changes in the extremities as they relate to peripheral vascular disease and which may be manifestations of abnormal local circulatory disease as well as of diffuse underlying systemic disease. Peripheral vascular diseases are not limited to occlusive, embolic or inflammatory conditions in the vessels of the extremity only. This discussion is not intended to be a comprehensive review of all conditions hut rather it gives selective examples to emphasize the variety arid scope of diseases that are properly classified as peripheral vascular diseases and to stress the importance of color changes of the skin of the extremities.


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