Condition 101 About Arterial Insufficiency

What is the definition of Arterial Insufficiency?

Arterial insufficiency is any condition that slows or stops the flow of blood through your arteries. Arteries are blood vessels that carry blood from the heart to other places in your body.

What are the causes for Arterial Insufficiency?

One of the most common causes of arterial insufficiency is atherosclerosis or "hardening of the arteries." Fatty material (called plaque) builds up on the walls of your arteries. This causes them to become narrow and stiff. As a result, it is hard for blood to flow through your arteries.


Blood flow may be suddenly stopped due to a blood clot. Clots can form on the plaque or travel from another place in the heart or artery (also called embolus).

What are the symptoms for Arterial Insufficiency?

Symptoms depend on where your arteries become narrowed:

  • If it affects your heart arteries, you may have chest pain (angina pectoris) or a heart attack.
  • If it affects your brain arteries, you may have a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or stroke.
  • If it affects the arteries that bring blood to your legs, you may have frequent leg cramping when you walk.
  • If it affects the arteries in your belly area, you may have pain after you eat.


Goodney PP. Clinical evaluation of the arterial system. In: Sidawy AN, Perler BA, eds. Rutherford's Vascular Surgery and Endovascular Therapy. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 18.

Libby P. The vascular biology of atherosclerosis. In: Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann, DL, Tomaselli GF, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 44.

Latest Advances On Arterial Insufficiency

  • Condition: Arterial Insufficiency Ulcer in Patient with Cervical Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) and Hypotension
  • Journal: Spinal cord series and cases
  • Treatment Used: Biweekly Debridement, Midodrine, and Surgery
  • Number of Patients: 1
  • Published —
This case report describes a 54-year-old woman with cervical spinal cord injury and hypotension diagnosed with an arterial insufficiency ulcer treated with biweekly debridement, Midodrine, and surgery.
  • Condition: Diabetic Foot Ulcers With Arterial Insufficiency
  • Journal: Journal of vascular surgery
  • Treatment Used: hyperbaric oxygen therapy
  • Number of Patients: 729
  • Published —
The purpose of the study was to assess the effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy as an adjunctive therapy to standard treatment for patients with diabetic foot ulcers with peripheral arterial occlusive disease.

Clinical Trials For Arterial Insufficiency

Clinical Trial
  • Status: Active, not recruiting
  • Phase: N/A
  • Intervention Type: Device
  • Participants: 6
  • Start Date: December 1, 2019
Immediate and Short Term Efficacy of Low Intensity Shock Wave Therapy in the Management of Erectile Dysfunction Due to Mild - Moderate Cavernous Arterial Insufficiency
Clinical Trial
  • Status: Active, not recruiting
  • Phase: N/A
  • Intervention Type: Device
  • Participants: 11
  • Start Date: August 9, 2019
Safety and Efficacy of the Noxsano Wound Care Bandage: A First in Human Study