Critical Limb Ischemia – ‘A Threat to Life and Limb’
There’s a growing worldwide epidemic of critical limb ischemia (CLI) that threatens to disable approximately 2 million Americans, according to a 2019 study published in the journal Vascular Health and Risk Management.
Often caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), CLI results from inadequate blood flow to the legs and feet caused by atherosclerosis, or plaque buildup, in the arteries that supply blood to these lower extremities. Critical limb ischemia can also be caused by diabetes, chronic kidney disease and hypertension, or high blood pressure. When tissues of the legs and feet are robbed of oxygen-rich blood, they can become painful, heal slowly and eventually die, setting up the need for amputation. Yet, beyond disabling victims, CLI can lead to death.
Barry Katzen, M.D., an interventional radiologist who treats patients with CLI and is the founder and chief medical executive of Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute has taken on another role to raise awareness about this deadly condition. Dr. Katzen also serves as president of the CLI Global Society Board.