What is Aortoiliac Occlusive Disease?

Aortoiliac Occlusive Disease is the blockage of the main blood vessel in the body, the aorta, and the branches that arise from the aorta, the iliac arteries. Symptoms may be absent initially, but then progress to leg fatigue, cramping or pain in the buttocks, thighs or calves, especially with walking or exertion. As the disease progresses, the symptoms may occur after walking even short distances.  

What are the causes?

Atherosclerosis, the layering of a plaque-like substance made of cholesterol and fatty acids in the arteries, the so-called “hardening of the arteries” is the main cause of Aortoiliac disease. Smoking, high blood pressure, obesity or genetic predisposition may be the underlying cause.

Can you manage this disease?

Aortoiliac occlusive disease is managed by quitting smoking, controlling cholesterol and high blood pressure, managing diabetes and regular exercise.  Intervention to open these vessels with balloons and/or stents may be required to treat more advanced cases.

Learn more about the diagnosis and treatment here.

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