Vascular Disease – Types & Treatment | MedStar Health

Care from a recognized leader in blood vessel diseases

The vascular system is the network of blood vessels, arteries, and veins that carry oxygen and nutrients to every cell in your body. Experts in our Vascular and Endovascular Program are at the forefront of advanced techniques and technologies to treat a range of vascular diseases. They will work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan so you can return to your daily activities. Any condition that affects your blood’s circulation is considered vascular disease. Slowed, interrupted, or decreased blood flow can lead to a host of problems, including:

  • Heart attack

  • Kidney failure

  • Limb loss

  • Loss of intestines

  • Ruptured blood vessels

  • Stroke

  • Death

Vascular health quiz

  1. Do you feel pain, tightness, tiredness, or weakness in your legs when you walk?

  2. Do your legs feel better when you stop walking?

  3. Has a physician ever told you that you have poor circulation in your legs?

  4. Have you ever been told that you have blockage in your carotid arteries?

  5. Have you recently experienced temporary:

    1. Loss of vision in one eye?

    2. Slurred speech?

    3. Difficulty understanding what is being said to you?

    4. Weakness or numbness of an arm or leg on one side of your body?

  6. Do you have high blood pressure?

    1. If yes, for how long? ___Years

    2. Has it been difficult to get your blood pressure under control?

    3. Are you taking more than two blood pressure medications now?

  7. Do your legs swell?

  8. Have you had problems with blood clotting or phlebitis?

  9. Have you had or do you have an open sore on your legs, feet, or toes that doesn’t heal?

  10. Do you have a family history for enlarged arteries or aneurysms?

If you answered “Yes” to any of the questions above, you should consider seeing your doctor or a vascular specialist for further evaluation.


Diagnosing a potential heart or vascular condition is the first step to developing a treatment plan. Our specialists may recommend one or more diagnostic and imaging procedures.

Angiogram (Angiography)

An angiogram is a special X-ray taken as a special dye is injected through a thin, flexible tube called a catheter to detect blockages or aneurysms in blood vessels.

Arterial duplex ultrasound for arms and legs

Arterial duplex ultrasound uses Doppler and traditional ultrasound to assess blood flow in the arteries of your arms and legs.

Computerized tomography (CT) scan

The cardiac computed tomography scan, or cardiac CT, uses X-rays to create three-dimensional images of your heart and blood vessels.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Magnetic resonance imaging, better known as cardiac MRI, is a combination of radio waves, magnets, and computer technology to create images of your heart and blood vessels.

Pulse volume recording

Pulse volume recording tests are used to evaluate blood flow through the arteries in your arms or legs.


Our heart and vascular teams work together and with other specialties to develop and implement individualized plans to treat a wide variety of conditions. This could include lifestyle modifications, medication, or more advanced treatments.

Vascular disease treatments

Vascular disease treatments address conditions that affect the blood vessels, which can cause blood flow to become decreased, interrupted, or slowed.

Ask MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute

Have general questions for our heart and vascular program? Email us at If you have clinically-specific questions, please contact your physician’s office.