Arterial Vascular Disease | MedStar Health

Vascular problems that impact arteries include


A weakening or bulge that forms in an artery wall, usually in the abdomen or head. If an aneurysm ruptures, it can cause a stroke and even death.

Carotid artery disease

Occurs when the two carotid arteries (one on either side of the neck) providing blood to the brain become restricted by fat, cholesterol, or other substances. Also, a blood clot or piece of plaque can break away and travel to the brain, causing a stroke or transient blindness.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD)

Arteries that feed your limbs (usually legs) become narrowed or blocked. Pain in the leg muscles (especially pain that gets worse when exercising) may be a symptom. The cramping is called claudication.

When the blood supply to the leg muscles is decreased, it causes severe cramping called claudication. Typically, people with claudication are able to walk a certain distance before the cramping becomes so painful, they must stop and rest. When the pain goes away and they begin to walk again, they are only able to walk the exact same distance before having to stop and rest again. When blockages are present in two or more arteries of the legs, this can result in leg ulcers that don't heal, leg pain while at rest, or even gangrene (when tissue dies) which may require an amputation.

Renal artery disease

Any reduction of blood flow through a renal artery can impair kidney function, cause high blood pressure (hypertension), or lead to heart failure. A complete blockage of blood flow usually causes permanent failure of that kidney.

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