Diagnostic modalities in peripheral artery disease

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Peripheral artery disease (PAD) affects approximately one in five persons older than 70 years of age and it is often present in patients with concomitant vascular disease in different body territories (e.g. coronary artery disease). Diagnosis at an early stage is important in order to achieve improvement in patient's symptoms and prognosis. Remarkable improvements in the field of noninvasive and invasive imaging techniques have led to an advanced level the management of patients with PAD. Throughout this review article, the clinically available diagnostic modalities in PAD are presented. Strong and weaker points are stressed out in a manner that elucidates that no perfect diagnostic method exists. Based on the patient's individual profile, as well as on certain aspects of the disease (e.g. morphology of carotid plaque lesions) the attending physician will ultimately decide which diagnostic path will lead to a prompt and correct diagnosis of PAD with the minimum amount of exams and risk for the patient.

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