Prevalence and severity of asymptomatic coronary and carotid artery disease in patients with lower limbs arterial disease


      • Prevalence of CAD in our study was 55%.
      • 29% of the total cohort had indication to cardiac surgery.
      • High prevalence of CAD and moderate prevalence of CVD in LLAD patients.



      Lower limbs arterial disease (LLAD) portends high risk of cardiovascular events. Yet, the prevalence of significant occult coronary artery (CAD) and cerebrovascular (CVD) disease in patients without CAD and CVD has not been widely investigated. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prevalence and severity of CAD and CVD in patients with LLAD of the lower extremities.


      From January 2008 through December 2011 we studied 200 consecutive patients admitted for symptomatic LLAD, with normal global and regional systolic function, no symptoms of angina or dyspnea. During hospital admission all patients underwent carotid Doppler study and invasive angiography.


      Significant CAD was observed in 110 of 200 (55%) patients. Fifty-eight (53%) patients with significant CAD showed either left main (n = 7), 3 vessels (n = 35) or proximal left anterior descending (n = 16) CAD, corresponding to 29% of total cohort. CVD was detected in 86(43%) patients (69% with concomitant CAD), including 30(35%) with severe and 15(17%) with significant disease. In thirty-two (37%) patients with CVD either left main (n = 4), 3 vessels (n = 18) or proximal left anterior descending (n = 10) CAD was observed. The percent of patients with left main, 3 vessel or proximal left anterior descending stenosis among those with CVD was significantly higher (37%; p = 0.03) compared to those without CVD.


      Severe asymptomatic CAD and CVD are quite prevalent in LLAD, and 29% of patients fulfill indications for coronary revascularization. Cost-effective strategies to detect occult CAD or CVD in LLAD patients need to be investigated in large multicenter studies.


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