Peripheral arteries carry blood to the extremities of the body including the head, neck, arms, lower abdomen, legs and feet. Central arteries transport blood directly from the heart.
Peripheral artery disease (PAD), also known as peripheral vascular disease (PVD), occurs when peripheral blood vessels are blocked, hardened and narrowed with plaque in a condition called atherosclerosis. This reduces the amount of blood that flows to your head, organs and limbs and increases the risk of a heart attack, stroke, and transient ischemic attack. Due to the restricted blood flow, peripheral artery disease increases your risk of infection in your limbs. Tissue death, also known as gangrene, can occur in severe cases of peripheral artery disease.
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