The Difference Between Peripheral Vascular Diseases and Peripheral Arterial Diseases

by | Mar 7, 2024

Discover the nuances between peripheral vascular disease (PVD) and peripheral arterial disease (PAD) with our concise article. Differentiate symptoms, risk factors, and treatment options to gain a clearer understanding of these conditions. Empower yourself with knowledge to navigate vascular health effectively.

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The Difference Between Peripheral Arterial Diseases (PAD) and Peripheral Vascular Diseases (PVD)

PAD and PVD are very similar, but different conditions. However, since PAD is a PVD itself, they can overlap in their symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment. What are the main differences between these conditions?


What is PVD?

Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) refers to any circulatory system disease outside of the brain or heart. The term can include any disorder that affects the blood vessels.


What is PAD?

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) is the narrowing or blockage of blood vessels that carry blood from the heart to the legs. The most common cause of PAD is atherosclerosis, or the buildup of plaque in the arteries. It is estimated that over 11% of Singaporeans are affected by PAD, which is well over half a million people. 6.5 million people aged 40 and above have PAD in the U.S. alone and it affects both men and women. African Americans and Hispanics are at a higher risk of developing PAD than white patients. If a patient has this disease, he or she is at a higher risk of developing coronary artery disease and cerebrovascular disease, which may lead to a heart attack or stroke.


Symptoms of PAD and PVD

Although PAD and PVD might be confused with each other or used interchangeably, the two are different conditions. PAD refers to Peripheral Arterial Disease specifically while PVD is an umbrella term that includes diseases related to blood vessels. However, both conditions have similar symptoms, including the following:

  • Leg pain with physical activity that fades away after rest
  • Pain in the buttocks, hip, thigh, or calf while walking
  • Muscle atrophy (weakness)
  • Hair loss
  • Skin that is cool to the touch
  • Long-lasting sores in the legs or feet
  • Cold or numb toes

Understanding the various stages of PAD can help in early detection, intervention, and management of the condition whereas understanding the types of vascular malformations (PDV) can help with proper diagnosis and treatment. It is important to note that only 60% of individuals with peripheral vascular disease display symptoms. Make sure that you see your doctor regularly so they can detect any abnormalities early.


Risk Factors of PAD and PVD

The risk factors for PAD and PVD are also similar. The most common cause of PAD is atherosclerosis, but other risk factors include smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and an age above 60 years. PVD risk factors include all of these as well as a family history of heart disease or stroke, obesity, and a sedentary (inactive) lifestyle.


Diagnosis of PAD and PVD

The most common way for doctors to diagnose PVD is to give the Edinburgh Claudication Questionnaire, a series of six questions as well as a pain diagram. It is accurate at diagnosing people with PAD symptoms about 90% of the time. Another method is to preform an ankle brachial index (ABI), a quick test that measures the blood pressure in your ankles and compares it with blood pressure in the arms at rest and after exercise. Other methods include getting an ultrasound, magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), and an MRI.


Treatment for PAD and PVD

The following list includes lifestyle changes as well as conventional medicine:

  • Quitting smoking will reduce symptoms and prevent your condition from getting worse.
  • Consider joining a supervised exercise program for people with PAD.
  • Eat healthy, nutritious meals.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Talk to your doctor about controlling your high cholesterol and blood pressure. In some cases, they may recommend medicine that reduces high blood cholesterol.
  • If you have diabetes, follow your doctor’s instructions for controlling your blood sugar.
  • Depending on the severity of PVD symptoms, some treatment options include medical management, surgical excision, sclerotherapy, embolization, laser treatments, and cryoablation. The Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic offers comprehensive interventional PVD treatments
  • For PAD’s significant symptoms, further management options are open surgery or minimally invasive endovascular treatment which is angioplasty and stent placement. Minimally invasive methods of treatment such as angioplasty are now becoming extremely popular, as they are as effective as a one-day surgery with shorter recovery times. Learn about the latest PAD treatments at our specialized vascular clinic.


Supreme Vascular PVD and PAD Treatments

Conditions such as these can reduce quality of life, but they don’t have to. The Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic is here to assist you so that you can get back to living comfortably. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Manish Taneja, our vascular specialist, or call us at (+65) 6904 8084.

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Consult a Vascular Specialist in Singapore


From family and internal medicine to specialist, Dr. Manish Taneja is the best in the field. As a vascular and interventional radiology specialist, Dr Manish Taneja looks after peripheral vascular diseases, peripheral arterial diseases, aneurysms, dialysis interventions, and venous diseases. He is also competent in performing newer endovascular procedures such as uterine artery embolization, prostate artery embolization, genicular artery embolization, and erectile dysfunction interventions.

Dr. Manish Taneja also has extensive experience in performing all vascular interventions, non-vascular interventions and interventional oncology procedures.

Dr. Manish Taneja performing surgery

Other Health Conditions

The Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic is your “go-to” facility for various conditions and treatments. To arrange an appointment with Dr. Manish Taneja, our vascular specialist, contact us. You can also call us at (+65) 6904 8084 for a consultation.