The operation for reversal of the circulation in the lower extremity, or arteriovenous anastomosis, began to receive attention soon after blood-vessel suturing was put on a stable basis by the work of Carrel and others a little more than a decade ago. Certain cases of gangrene of the foot and leg are caused by gradual occlusion of the arteries in the lower extremities. This is due to some form of arteritis in which the intima plays the most prominent part and the artery walls become so thick that complete occlusion may occur. As a rule, the veins are but slightly affected. The arterial current has been switched to the veins with the idea that the arterial blood pressure would force the valves in the veins, and arterial blood would reach the ultimate capillaries of the foot, so conveying nutrition to the tissues.
Complete reversal of circulation in the lower extremity,
HORSLEY JS, WHITEHEAD RH. A STUDY OF REVERSAL OF THE CIRCULATION IN THE LOWER EXTREMITY. JAMA. 1915;LXIV(11):873–877. doi:10.1001/jama.1915.02570370005002
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