ABSTRACT: Whether a typical patient and symptom profile is associated with proximal or distal lesions in lower extremity peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is unknown. Knowing which patient characteristics, exertional leg symptoms, and cardiovascular risk profile accompany the anatomic lesion location may facilitate a more tailor-made management of PAD.
This cross-sectional study comprised 701 patients from two vascular surgery outpatient clinics with new-onset symptoms of PAD (Fontaine 2) who underwent duplex ultrasound (DUS) examinations from March 2006 to March 2011. The main outcome measures were patient characteristics, self-reported leg symptoms, and cardiovascular risk factors as documented from questionnaires and medical records. Peripheral lesion information, categorized by proximal and distal lesions, was obtained from DUS examinations. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed of proximal vs nonproximal lesions, distal vs nondistal lesions, and proximal and distal vs absence of having both lesions to assess relationships between patient characteristics, leg symptom categories (typical vs atypical leg symptoms), cardiovascular risk factors, and anatomic lesion location.
Lesions were proximal in 270 (38.5%), distal in 441 (62.9%), and proximal and distal in 94 (13.4%). Patients with proximal lesions were younger (odds ratio [OR], 0.94; P < .0001) and less likely to be obese (OR, 0.34; P < .0001) than those without proximal lesions. Older age (OR, 1.07; P < .0001), male sex (OR, 1.96; P = .003), being without a partner (OR, 2.24; P = .004), and lower anxiety scores (OR, 0.42; P = .003) were associated with distal lesions. Patients with both lesions were more likely to be single (OR, 2.30; P = .010) and less likely to be obese (OR, 0.24; P = .009). No distinguishing leg symptom pattern was observed for patients with proximal lesions. Intermittent claudication was more frequently reported in those with distal lesions (P = .011). Although buttock and thigh pain seemed to be somewhat more present in proximal lesions (P < .01) and calf pain more in distal lesions (P < .001), patients still reported pain at a variety of levels throughout their legs, regardless of the anatomic lesion location.
Two distinctive PAD phenotypes-each with its own characteristics and risk factors-emerged by anatomic lesion location; however, PAD-specific leg symptoms did not always reflect the anatomic lesion location. These findings may open new opportunities to better tailor PAD management to these two PAD subgroups and may raise awareness about not relying on self-reported symptoms to guide further diagnostic imaging and peripheral lesion management.
Journal of vascular surgery: official publication, the Society for Vascular Surgery [and] International Society for Cardiovascular Surgery, North American Chapter 01/2012; 55(4):1025-1034.e2. · 3.52 Impact Factor