Acute Arterial Occlusion
Acute occlusion of peripheral arteries commonly involves the infrainguinal segment. Underlying atherosclerotic disease may result in intraluminal strictures that impair blood flow and cause acute thrombosis. Emboli typically lodge at bifurcations and, hence, tend to occlude the distal common femoral artery (the most common site, comprising 34% of all arterial emboli) or distal popliteal artery (14%). Popliteal artery aneurysms may thrombose as a result of turbulent blood flow.
The clinical indications of acute occlusion of lower extremity arteries are the following classic 6 "P"s:
- Poikilothermia (coolness)
The anatomic level at which pulse loss occurs helps identify the location of the occlusion.
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