Peripheral obstructive arterial disease develops when blood vessels narrow due to arteriosclerosis and blood flow in the legs (or rarely the arms) becomes clogged. Intermittent claudication is when blood flow disturbances in a limb causes pain, numbness, or coldness during physical activity. In severe cases, where the tissue has gone without blood for too long and dies, the limb may have to be amputated.
Previous clinical and animal research showed that mice receive less tissue damage under ischemic condition than humans, but the cause of the difference was not clear. To illustrate why humans seem to have such a disadvantage, researchers from Kumamoto University, Japan focused on collateral vessels that could bypass an obstruction. Using a murine hind limb ischemia model, they compared the shape of mouse hind limb blood vessels with those of a patient who had peripheral obstructive artery disease.
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