thromboangiitis obliterans

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Related to thromboangiitis obliterans: arteriosclerosis obliterans


inflammation of a blood vessel (vasculitis) with thrombosis.
thromboangiitis obli´terans a disease affecting the medium-sized blood vessels, particularly the arteries of the lower limbs, which can cause severe pain and in serious cases lead to gangrene. The name refers to the clotting, pain, and inflammation occurring in this disease and to the fact that it can obliterate, or destroy, blood vessels. The cause has been thought to be excessive use of tobacco over a long period of time, and the number of cases has diminished strikingly in recent years. The intense pain is caused by thrombosis (formation of blood clots) in the lining of the arteries; when the clots grow larger, the blood flow slows and may stop entirely. Since every part of the body depends on the continuous flow of blood, affected areas such as fingers and toes, for example, soon begin to atrophy or develop ulcers. If the causes of the disease are not completely arrested, amputation may be necessary.

To treat the disease, the patient must stop smoking at once and entirely. This generally results in the partial healing of the affected membrane with a renewed flow of blood. However, more blood may have to be brought to damaged tissue by surgical methods of channeling detours or making canals in the clot itself. Sympathectomy may be tried to prevent any vasospastic component. Minor amputations of gangrenous tissue are often needed.

Special exercises called buerger-allen exercises are sometimes used to empty the engorged blood vessels and stimulate collateral circulation. These exercises can be done at home by patients and are usually prescribed to be done several times during the day. Patients are also instructed to avoid wearing any tight clothing, such as tight girdles, rolled garters, constricting belts, and other items that may impair circulation. They should also avoid sitting or standing in one position for long periods of time. Care should be used in the selection of shoes and stockings so that they fit properly and do not cause pressure against the blood vessels. Patients should be told to avoid walking barefoot or otherwise subjecting themselves to the hazards of trauma to the feet and legs. Should such an accident occur, no matter how minor it may seem, the patient must notify a health care provider so that treatment may be begun and infection and ulceration can be prevented.

throm·bo·an·gi·i·tis ob·li·te·rans

inflammation of the entire wall and connective tissue surrounding medium-sized arteries and veins, especially of the legs of young and middle-aged men; associated with thrombotic occlusion and commonly resulting in gangrene.

thromboangiitis obliterans

Etymology: Gk, thrombos + angeion, vessel, itis, inflammation; L, obliterare, to cancel
an occlusive vascular condition, usually of a leg or a foot, in which the small and medium-sized arteries become inflamed and thrombotic. Early signs of the condition are burning, numbness, and tingling of the foot or leg distal to the lesion. Phlebitis and gangrene may develop as the disease progresses. Pulsation in the limb below the damaged blood vessels is often absent. The goal of therapy is to avoid all factors that decrease the blood supply to the extremity, such as cigarette smoking, and to use all means possible to increase the supply. Amputation may be necessary if the condition progresses to gangrene with chronic infection and extensive tissue destruction. Men are affected more often than women; most affected men smoke and are between 20 and 40 years of age. Also called Buerger's disease.
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Thromboangiitis obliterans

throm·bo·an·gi·i·tis ob·lit·er·ans

(throm'bō-an'jē-ī'tis ob-lit'ĕr-anz)
Inflammation of the entire wall and connective tissue surrounding medium-sized arteries and veins, especially of the legs of young and middle-aged men; associated with thrombotic occlusion and commonly resulting in gangrene.

thromboangiitis obliterans



Leo, Austrian-U.S. physician, 1879-1943.
Buerger disease - inflammation of the entire wall and connective tissue surrounding medium-sized arteries and veins, associated with thrombotic occlusion and commonly resulting in gangrene. Synonym(s): thromboangiitis obliterans; Winiwarter-Buerger disease
Buerger exercises - exercises specifically for patients with arterial insufficiency of their lower limbs. Synonym(s): Buerger-Allen exercises
Buerger-Allen exercises - Synonym(s): Buerger exercises
Winiwarter-Buerger disease - Synonym(s): Buerger disease


pathogenic entity characterized by an identifiable aetiological agent, group of signs and symptoms and/or consistent anatomical alterations; see syndrome
Buerger's disease; thromboangiitis obliterans inflammation of the entire wall (vasculitis) and surrounding connective tissue of medium-sized arteries and leg veins; proximal pulses are preserved but distal pulses are absent; tends to affect adult male cigarette smokers, who develop superficial migratory thrombophlebitis up to 1 year before the more overt signs of ischaemia become evident; treatment includes mandatory cessation of smoking, pain relief, anticoagulant therapy, management of trophic and ischaemic ulceration and meticulous general foot care

Buerger's angle

angle (i.e. between thigh and couch) at which plantar aspect of foot blanches on hip flexion/leg elevation of supine patient; normal = 60-70°; <20° = peripheral vascular disease
References in periodicals archive ?
PROGNOSIS: The prognosis for patients with Thromboangiitis Obliterans depends largely on the ability to discontinue tobacco use.
Patient education on the role of tobacco exposure in the initiation, maintenance, and progression of the Thromboangiitis Obliterans is paramount.
Although patients with Thromboangiitis Obliterans are thought to have a greater degree of tobacco dependence than those with coronary atherosclerosis, no significant difference in time to tobacco cessation after diagnosis has been demonstrated.
Surgical revascularization is usually not feasible in patients with Thromboangiitis Obliterans because of the distal and diffuse nature of the disease.
Additional therapeutic options for the treatment of Thromboangiitis Obliterans have been limited to vasodilators, intermittent pneumatic compression, spinal cord stimulation, and peripheral periarterial sympathectomy.
14 Several studies have evaluated autologous bone marrow mononuclear cell implantation for patients with critical limb ischemia resulting from Thromboangiitis obliterans.
Antiendothelial cell antibodies in thromboangiitis obliterans.
Antiphospholipid antibodies in thromboangiitis obliterans.
A prospective, case-control study of tobacco dependence in thromboangiitis obliterans (Buerger's disease).