A glance at Vascular Diseases
What does Vascular System mean?
The vascular system is the body’s network of blood vessels. It includes arteries, veins, lymphatics and microcirculation. Arteries supply oxygenated blood through all the body which is necessary for all the organs to function properly. The main function of the veins is to transport or take back deoxygenated blood from other regions of the body to the heart and the lungs so that it can be oxygenated again. The main function of the lymphatic system is to collect and transport tissue fluids from the intercellular spaces in all the tissues of the body, back to the veins. Unlike arteries and veins that are red or blue in color (due to red blood cells that carry oxygen), the lymphatics are transparent and invisible (because they do not contain red blood cells). Microcirculation is the circulation of the blood in the smallest vessels as arterioles, capillaries, and venules. Exchange with tissues (oxygen, CO2, nutrients …) takes place in the capillaries (the smallest blood vessels in the body).
What does Vascular Disease mean?
Vascular diseases occur when there is a dysfunction at any level of the complex vascular system. Vascular diseases include any condition that affect the circulatory system, such as peripheral artery disease (PAD).
The spectrum of vascular diseases is very wide.
Main consequences of arterial diseases are stenosis (narrowing), thrombosis (occlusion), dissection (tear in the vessel wall) and/or aneurysm (dilatation).
Main consequences of vein diseases are chronic venous insufficiency and varicoses (venous valves incompetency and dilatation) and deep or superficial vein thrombosis (occlusion).
Main consequence of lymphatic diseases is lymphedema (engorgement of tissues by insufficient drainage of lymphatic fluid).
Main consequence of cutaneous microcirculation diseases is Raynaud’s phenomenon (white fingers phenomenon).