Correlation of Lesion Configuration with Functional Significance

  • David S. Sumner
  • Don P. Giddens


Arteriosclerotic lesions display an infinite variety of configurations. They vary in degree of narrowing and length of stenosis; their orifices may be abrupt or tapering; and the interface that they present to the bloodstream may be smooth, rough, or ulcerated. Their functional significance is manifested in two ways: by a global reduction of flow to the peripheral tissues, and by shedding emboli that obliterate terminal arteries. When the resulting flow deficit is severe, the tissues become hypoxic, nutritionally deprived, and lack the protection afforded by host defense mechanisms. Mild degrees of narrowing and even total occlusions may be well compensated by the development of an efficient collateral network and by vasodilation of the micro-vascular bed. In such cases, the obstruction may be asymptomatic or may cause symptoms only when the system is stressed by exercise, trauma, or infection. Severe, uncompensated obstructions, on the other hand, compromise the viability of the tissues even at rest or in the absence of extraneous trauma--leading to ischemic rest pain, nonhealing ulcers, tissue destruction by unchecked infection, and eventual gangrene. Although lesions capable of throwing emboli may not produce discernable physiologic changes; they may be functionally highly significant, particularly when the vessel involved supplies a sensitive area, such as the brain.


Superficial Femoral Artery Arterial Lesion Laser Doppler Anemometer Critical Stenosis Arterial Obstruction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • David S. Sumner
  • Don P. Giddens

There are no affiliations available

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