Arterial Insufficiency

Symptoms, Doctors, Treatments, Research & More

Condition 101

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 Research

Latest Advance
  • 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.
Latest Advance
  • Condition: Atherosclerosis obliterans of the lower extremity
  • Journal: Voprosy kurortologii, fizioterapii, i lechebnoi fizicheskoi kultury
  • Treatment Used: Enhanced external counterpulsation
  • Number of Patients: 68
  • Published —
The aim of the article was to study the effectiveness of using enhanced external counterpulsation (can cause blood to flow around clots) in the rehabilitation treatment of patients with stages I-IIB obliterating atherosclerosis of the lower extremities (OALE).

Clinical Trials

Clinical Trial
  • Status: Active, not recruiting
  • Study Type: Device
  • Participants: 11
  • Start Date: August 9, 2019
Safety and Efficacy of the Noxsano Wound Care Bandage: A First in Human Study