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Chronic Occlusion of the Superficial Femoral Artery

Case study description: Short video on how to detect an occlusion of the superficial femoral artery
Video length: 3 mins
Audio: Yes, with voice-over explanation

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This is a case of a 71-year old male patient reporting pain in the right leg when walking (short distance claudication).

The ultrasound assessment detected a segmental occlusion of the mid superficial femoral artery. The occlusion was defined chronic based on clinical presentation, presence of collaterals and ultrasound features of thrombus.

Collateral vessels serve as a natural bypass system and may reduce leg symptoms in people with lower extremity arterial disease (LEAD).

Occlusion of a major lower extremity artery is a primary stimulus to the enlargement of pre-existing collateral vessels. However, these collateral vessels typically do not restore lower extremity perfusion to normal.

Take home message: Ultrasound, alongside with clinical presentation, can help in confirming the clinical suspect and in characterising the occlusive disease of the peripheral arteries.

How to detect an occlusion of the superficial femoral artery
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