Peripheral Arterial Disease, often called PAD, is a condition of the blood vessels that leads to narrowing and hardening of the arteries that supply blood to the legs and feet. Decreased blood flow can cause a symptom called claudication, which is cramping in the leg or buttock muscles caused by walking and relieved by rest. PAD affects 7.3 million Americans, and over 5% of adults have intermittent claudication.
There are three treatment methods for patient with claudication. These methods include surgical bypass (performed with a cut in the groin and leg, blood is re-routed around the hardened arteries), endovascular procedures (where a catheter is inserted through your groin and a balloon or stent is used to open a clogged or narrowing artery), and medical management (medication to thin the blood, smoking cessation, physical therapy, etc.). These methods are used by clinicians from three specialties (vascular surgery, interventional cardiology, and interventional radiology). Because treatments for PAD are spread across 3 different medical specialties, doctors treating PAD/claudication rarely need to work together or share information about treatment successes and failures. Because of this, it is not clear which treatment option is best.
In partnership with the Surgical Care and Outcomes Assessment Program (SCOAP), CERTAIN is bringing together physicians in vascular surgery, interventional cardiology, and interventional radiology to improve quality of care in PAD/claudication. Through Vascular Interventional SCOAP (VI-SCOAP), doctors are able to see information about how the three different treatments for PAD/claudication are used and what the results of the treatments are. They can use this information to improve the quality of care that they give to their patients.
In association with VI-SCOAP, CERTAIN has also developed and is running a research study that aims to better understand for whom and when treatments work. Information coming from the PAD Study can be used by doctors to continue to improve the care they deliver, and by patients with claudication to help them make decisions about their treatment.