Peripheral vascular disease and diabetes


Assessment and management of peripheral vascular disease in the diabetic patient

Francis Dix

Consultant vascular and endovascular surgeon

Peripheral vascular disease with diabetes

• diabetes team clinical effects of combined disease pathophysiology assessment treatment

– cases

GP and community services

Multidisciplinary teamwork with holistic approach podiatry

Consultant in diabetes

Consultant in vascular surgery

Hospital services patient hyperbaric oxygen therapy orthotics

Consultant in orthopaedics diabetes nurse

What are the issues?

Diabetes may cause first fall in life expectancy for 200 years

Jeremy Laurance, health editor, The Independent October 2008

The World Health Organisation has predicted that deaths from diabetes in Britain would rise from 33,000 a year in 2005 to 41,000 by 2015 but

Professor Alberti said that figure underestimated its true impact. More than 80 per cent of sufferers die from heart attacks or strokes and more than 1,000 a year suffer kidney failure requiring dialysis.

"The WHO figure [for deaths] was very conservative," he said. "Large numbers die from heart disease and strokes [linked with diabetes] and they do not include those.“

It costs the NHS £1m an hour to treat. One pound in every £10 spent on the hospital service is for diabetes and its complications.

PVD in diabetics has a poor prognosis

PVD is 20 x more common in diabetics than non diabetics

• lower limb amputation is 15 x more common in diabetics

• ten year cumulative incidence of lower limb amputation is 5.4% in type I diabetes and 7.3% in type II

10% of diabetics get an ulcer (10% are purely ischaemic, 45% are ischaemic with associated neuropathy, infection, biomechanical abnormalities and Charcot deformity)

Increased risk of CVD, CAD, nephropathy, retinopathy and death

What is the pathophysiology?

Atherosclerosis in diabetes

• same atherosclerosis - endothelial damage

- platelet aggregation

- lipid deposition

- plaque formation

• same risk factors

• distribution is different - mainly below knee disease and profunda femoris artery disease

Macrocirculation and microcirculation


large vessel calcification

- atherosclerotic plaque


thickening of capillary basement membrane

- increased microvascular flow (hence warm foot)

- oedema secondary to impaired postural vasoconstriction

- increased metabolic requirement

- impaired ability to respond to trauma

- platelet degranulation increased

Assessment of the peripheral circulation

Assessment for PVD

Clinical assessment

ABPI and waveform


Angiography (CTA, MRA, catheter angiogram)

Clinical assessment

• symptoms and signs may be obvious or subtle

- history of rest pain at night

- gangrene

• colour

- white

- red (hyperaemic skin)

• temperature

- cool

Pulses and ABPI

Pulses and ABPI




Duplex waveform

Treatment of vascular disease

Treatment options

• risk factor management and modification training, education and counselling wound debridement angioplasty vascular reconstruction amputation

Medical treatment

• good diabetic control stop smoking regular exercise antiplatelets statins

ACE inhibitor

Surgical treatment

Surgery for the infected diabetic foot

• be aggressive be thorough don`t suture the wound appropriate antibiotics post-operative TNP


regular wound review

Surgery for the infected diabetic foot

Surgery for the infected diabetic foot

Case 1

– male 73yrs

Duplex left leg

– case 1

Catheter angiogram

– case 1


Case 1


– case 1


– case 1

Case 2

– male, 83yrs

Duplex and CTA

– case 2

Catheter angiogram - Case 2

Catheter angiogram

– case 2


– case 2


– case 2

Vascular reconstruction

• for salvageable limbs where angioplasty will fail (long occlusions, multiple stenoses)

• use autologous vein where possible

The long-term results of the Bypass versus Angioplasty in Severe

Ischaemia of the Leg (BASIL) trial favour surgery rather than angioplasty if there is a good vein and the patient is fit. Some patients with critical lower limb ischemia are best treated by analgesia or primary amputation


similar long term outcomes of revascularisation in patients with and without diabetes

Karacagil S et al. Diabet Med 1995; 12: 537-541


 can be a very positive end point after months of hospitalisation and chronic ill health

 don`t try to salvage unsalvageable limbs

 level of amputation depends on degree of tissue disease, level of arterial occlusion and expected postoperative mobility (general health and motivation)

 discuss the possibility of amputation as early as possible


Heel ulcers

Forefoot amputation

Below knee amputation

Above knee amputation


Diabetes and PVD

• common but complications often preventable

• holistic approach through multidisciplinary team

• good community diabetic care

• clinical assessment is easy (don`t worry about a high

ABPI in the absence of symptoms)

• early referral of symptomatic patients