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March 1950

PERIPHERAL ARTERIAL EMBOLISM: With Particular Reference to an Evaluation of Conservative Treatment

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, New York Hospital-Cornell University Medical College.

Arch Surg. 1950;60(3):511-519. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1950.01250010530008

EMBOLISM of the arteries to the limbs is a dramatic event which varies in its consequences with a number of factors. Thus, the lodgment of an embolus in some of these arteries such as the anterior or posterior tibial vessel in the leg or the radial, ulnar or occasionally even the brachial or axillary vessels in the arm may be attended by no serious symptoms or results beyond transient pain and weakness. In general, as this would imply, the sudden embolism of the larger vessels of the legs is of graver significance, but even in such instances the prognosis may vary greatly and depends on a number of circumstances aside from the mere local vascular occlusion. For example, the out-look is much better in the younger patient and in persons with rheumatic heart disease than in those in whom the cardiac lesion is of arteriosclerotic origin. Not only is this