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pertaining to or situated at or near the periphery.
peripheral vascular disease (PVD) any disorder affecting blood flow through the veins and arteries distal to the heart. Disruption of circulation in the peripheral veins can be caused by venous stasis, hypercoagulability, or injury to the vein wall secondary to immobility, orthopedic surgery, aging, and dehydration. Arterial insufficiency in the peripheral vessels is most often due to atherosclerosis, blood clots, trauma, spasms of smooth muscles in the arterial walls, and congenital structural defects in the arteries.

Diminished or interrupted flow of blood through peripheral arteries can eventually lead to ischemic necrosis and gangrene. Sluggish venous flow leads to increased pressure within the vessels, causing varicose veins and sometimes thrombophlebitis. When blood is not moved out of the veins of the lower limbs, it accumulates there and serves as an excellent medium for bacterial growth and contributes to the formation of leg ulcers. Treatment is aimed at improving blood flow by removing or mitigating the cause of impaired circulation.
Assessment of Arterial Circulation. Arterial insufficiency is characterized by two types of pain. The first is a cramping pain in the muscles brought on by exercise and relieved by rest (intermittent claudication). The pain is most often felt in the calves of the legs, but it may also affect the thighs and buttocks. A second type of pain is characteristic of advanced chronic occlusive arterial disease. It occurs when the patient is at rest, usually at night while lying down. The sensation is described as burning and tingling, with numbness of the toes.

Assessment includes noting the color and temperature of the skin in the affected areas and any signs of trophic changes. Epidermoid tissues that are chronically malnourished because of poor blood supply appear shiny, smooth, and thin, with little or no hair on the surface. The nails are thick, with deposits of cornlike material under them. With time, a decreased blood supply produces ischemic changes that cause the skin to assume a purple-black color that is characteristic of cyanosis and gangrene. Additional assessment data include the rate, rhythm, and force of the peripheral pulses.
Assessment of Venous Circulation. Assessment of venous circulation focuses on changes in the hydration status (edema) and pigmentation of the skin. Chronic edema can lead to ulceration. Venous insufficiency also produces a darkened color, dryness, and scaling of the skin in the affected areas. Venography, a radiologic test in which the vein is injected with a radiopaque dye prior to filming, can also demonstrate engorged and tortuous veins.
Patient Teaching. In order to prevent or mitigate the effects of arterial insufficiency or venous stasis, patients must be taught techniques of self-care. Exercises such as the buerger-allen exercises are often prescribed. Additionally, patients need to know how to take care of their feet and legs (see foot care), the reasons for avoiding smoking and keeping warm, and the importance of taking prescribed medications.


(pĕ-rif'ĕr-ăl), [TA]
1. Relating to or situated at the periphery.
2. Situated nearer the periphery of an organ or part of the body in relation to a specific reference point; opposite of central (centralis).
Synonym(s): peripheralis [TA], eccentric (3)


1. Related to, located in, or constituting an outer boundary or periphery.
2. Perceived or perceiving near the outer edges of the retina: peripheral vision.
3. Anatomy
a. Of the surface or outer part of a body or organ; external.
b. Of, relating to, or being part of the peripheral nervous system.
4. Of minor relevance or importance.
5. Auxiliary.
n. Computers
An auxiliary device, such as a printer, modem, or storage system, that works in conjunction with a computer.

pe·riph′er·al·ly adv.


Etymology: Gk, periphereia, circumference
pertaining to the outside, surface, or surrounding area of an organ, other structure, or field of vision.


Hematology A condition characterized by ↓ RBCs or Hb in the blood, resulting in ↓ O2 in peripheral tissues Clinical Fatigability, pallor, palpitations, SOB; anemias are divided into various groups based on cause–eg, iron deficiency anemia, megaloblastic anemia–due to ↓ vitamin B12 or folic acid, or aplastic anemia–where RBC precursors in BM are 'wiped out'. See Anemia of chronic disease, Anemia of investigation, Anemia of prematurity, Aplastic anemia, Arctic anemia, Autoimmune hemolytic anemia, Cloverleaf anemia, Congenital dyserythropoietic anemia, Dilutional anemia, Dimorphic anemia, Drug-induced immune hemolytic anemia, Fanconi anemia, Hemolytic anemia, Idiopathic sideroblastic anemia, Immune anemia, Iron-deficiency anemia, Juvenile pernicious anemia, Macrocytic anemia, Megaloblastic anemia, Microcytic anemia, Myelophthisic anemia, Neutropenic colitis with aplastic anemia, Nonimmune hemolytic anemia, Pseudoanemia, Refractory anemia with excess blasts, Sickle cell anemia, Sideroblastic anemia, Sports anemia.
General groups of anemia
Megaloblastic anemia
  • Vitamin B12deficiency
  • Folic acid deficiency
Microcytic hypochromic
  • Iron-deficiency anemia
  • Hereditary defects
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Thalassemia
  • Other hemoglobinopathies
  • Acute blood loss
  • Hemolysis
  • BM failure
  • Anemia of chronic disease
  • Renal failure
  • Iron
  • Vitamin B12
  • Folic acid
  • Pyridoxine
Central–due to BM failure
  • Anemia of chronic disease
  • Anemia of senescence
  • Malignancy
    • BM replacement by tumor
    • Toxicity due to chemotherapy
    • Primary BM malignancy, eg leukemia
  • Hemorrhage
  • Hemolysis


(pĕr-if'ĕr-ăl) [TA]
1. Relating to or situated at the periphery.
2. Situated nearer the periphery of an organ or part of the body in relation to a specific reference point; opposite of central (centralis).
Synonym(s): eccentric (3) .


of or relating to the outside or extreme edge of a structure. For example, the peripheral nervous system is the NERVOUS SYSTEM as a whole with the exception of the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM.


tissues/structures furthest from the centre

peripheral (p·rifˑ··rl),

adj referring to or towards outer surrounding surfaces. Also called


pertaining to or situated at or near the periphery.

peripheral circulatory failure
see circulatory failure.
peripheral gangrenous ergotism
gangrene of the tips of the ears and tail and of the lower limbs caused by rye ergot poisoning; see also rye ergot.
peripheral giant cell granuloma
see giant-cell epulis.
peripheral lymphatics
see lymphatic.
peripheral nerve
see peripheral nerve.
peripheral nerve degeneration
see axonal degeneration, wallerian degeneration.
peripheral nerve paralysis
see peripheral nerve.
peripheral nervous system
see peripheral nervous system.
peripheral proteins
see membrane proteins.
peripheral sinus
the peripheral lymph space just beneath the capsule of a lymph node.

Patient discussion about peripheral

Q. I am interested in finding info on Peripheral neuropathy and its symptoms. I wonder if I have it. I have restless leg syndrome discovered via a sleep clinic. A small tingling area developed in my back about 8 years ago. Nothing was disclosed to me about it and it progressed further up the back. I now wake up some nights with what I describe as left shoulder knot that makes left arm tingle and feel numb. Sometimes also goes down through to the left leg. It makes me feel jumpy and have trouble getting back to sleep. I rub Benyln on shoulder and take Tylenol. I eventually fall back to sleep. I do not have a family Dr. as she closed her practice and I must now visit walkin clinics. A stress test was recently done as I was having chest pain. Dr. thinks it's due to my Acid Reflux. HELP!

A. numbness and tingling can be symptoms of 25 possible cases. how i know? i just typed those symptoms in this symptom checker, and this is what i got:

about neuropathy- as i recall (and i could be wrong here), in most cases it's a symptom that something cause. your nervous system usually don't just shut off with no reason.

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