(1) Peripheral vascular disease: A disease of blood vessels outside the heart. Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) affects the peripheral circulation, as opposed to the cardiac circulation. PVD comprises diseases of both peripheral arteries and peripheral veins. PVD is sometimes incorrectly used as a synonym for peripheral artery disease (PAD). Intermittent claudication due to inadequate blood flow to the leg is an example of peripheral artery disease (PAD) while varicose veins and spider veins are examples of peripheral vein disease.
See: Peripheral artery disease; Varicose Veins & Spider Veins.
Common Misspellings: peripheral vascular diease, peripheral vascular desease, peripheal vascular disease, peripheal vascular diease, peripheal vascular desease, periphial vascular disease, periphial vascular diease, periphial vascular desease, perpheral vascular disease, perpheral vascular diease, perpheral vascular desease
(2) What is peripheral vascular disease?
This refers to diseases of blood vessels outside the heart and brain. It's often a narrowing of vessels that carry blood to the legs, arms, stomach or kidneys. There are two types of these circulation disorders:
Functional peripheral vascular diseases don't have an organic cause. They don't involve defects in blood vessels' structure. They're usually short-term effects related to “spasm” that may come and go. Raynaud's disease is an example. It can be triggered by cold temperatures, emotional stress, working with vibrating machinery or smoking.
Organic peripheral vascular diseases are caused by structural changes in the blood vessels, such as inflammation and tissue damage. Peripheral artery disease is an example. It's caused by fatty buildups in arteries that block normal blood flow.