Arteriosclerosis Obliterans

Arteriosclerosis Obliterans

Arteriosclerosis obliterans (ASO) is a serious vascular disease that affects the arteries in the legs and arms. It is most commonly seen in patients with diabetes, after a bypass operation, or in patients with cardiovascular diseases. It results in narrowing of the arteries by the deposition of plaque, which hinders normal blood flow. This can lead to pain and ultimately nerve and tissue damage. The primary goal of treatment is to reduce the risk of blockage and to control the symptoms.

Symptoms of ASO include pain in the legs and feet, poor balance, cold limbs, and numbness or tingling in the affected areas. In more advanced cases, gangrene can occur, which can lead to amputation. Those affected by ASO should be monitored regularly, as the progression of symptoms can vary.


The exact cause of ASO is not known, however, risk factors are believed to include high cholesterol, smoking, high blood pressure, and illness or injury. Additionally, living with diabetes for an extended period of time increases one’s risk for developing ASO.


ASO is usually diagnosed through imaging studies such as ultrasound, MRI, or angiography. These tests help to assess the severity of the disease and determine the best course of treatment.


The primary course of treatment for ASO is lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly. Medications can also be prescribed to help control high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes.


In cases where lifestyle changes are not enough, surgery may be recommended to treat the underlying cause of ASO. Doctors may recommend bypass surgery, vein grafting, or angioplasty. Surgery carries risk and is only recommended when the risks outweigh the benefits.


There are several steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing ASO:

  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Quit smoking
  • Manage stress levels
  • Limit alcohol consumption
  • Follow your doctor's advice for managing conditions like diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure