Difference Between PAD and PVD

As we approach the ever-changing field of medicine, there are limits to the detailed order that may predominate in all sciences. Some clinicians may use the term Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) in an unclear manner.


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However, the American Heart Association (AHA), the world’s foremost authority on the cardiovascular system. When it comes to health management, it’s critical to comprehend a disease so that you can better manage it.

There are occasions, though, when doctors use words interchangeably without explaining what they imply.


The difference between PAD and PVD is that peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a disorder that affects mainly arteries, primarily the arteries of the legs.PVD (peripheral vascular disease) is a broad term that encompasses a wide range of cardiovascular disorders. Not only the arteries but also the veins and lymphatic vessels are affected by these illnesses. They can also occur in other parts of the body, such as the arms, neck, and face.


The accumulation of a fatty, sticky material called plaque on the inner walls of the arteries going to your legs causes PAD (the illness). Atherosclerosis is the medical term for this illness, but it’s also known as “hardening of the arteries.”

It’s hazardous, no matter what you name it. The quantity of blood going to the legs, foot, and toes is restricted due to artery constriction. Your lower extremities aren’t getting enough oxygen or nutrients to be healthy.

Consequently, they begin to fail in a variety of ways. Leg discomfort, unhealed sores and ulcers, and loss of movement are all common signs of PAD.

PVD may refer to a variety of conditions. Some of them also have an effect on the arteries. Angina or a heart attack can be caused by a blockage in the coronary arteries that supply the heart.

High blood pressure and heart failure can be caused by blockages in the arteries that supply the kidneys. A stroke or transient ischemic attack can occur when arteries leading to the brain get clogged.

Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison PADPVD
Stands forPeripheral artery diseasePeripheral vascular disease
DefinitionPAD occurs when the arteries in your legs get narrowed as a result of arterial plaque buildup.PVD is a condition in which the veins in your legs get blocked.
Blood FlowArteries are blood arteries that transport oxygen-rich blood from your heart to your other organs.Veins return oxygen-depleted blood to your heart, where it is reused.
EffectsOnly ArteriesNot only arteries but also veins and lymphatic vessels
SymptomsDull pain, Warm Legs, Blood pooling under skin.Sharp pain, Cool legs, No feelings in ankels and feets.

What is PAD?

PAD, or peripheral artery disease, is when it solely affects the arteries and not the veins. The state of having blood flow reduced or halted by one or more blocked peripheral arteries is known as peripheral arterial disease.

Plaque, or fatty deposits, become stuck in your arteries and restrict blood flow to your legs, causing PAD. Plaque that obstructs blood flow in your arteries can lead to a fibrin build-up, which can lead to blood clots.

The narrowing or blockage of the arteries that transport blood from the heart to the legs is known as a peripheral arterial disease (PAD) in the legs or lower extremities.

The development of fatty plaque in the arteries, known as atherosclerosis, is the primary reason. PAD may affect any blood artery, although it affects the legs more frequently than the arms.

The ankle-brachial index is a first-line diagnostic test for PAD (ABI).

This test requires measuring the blood pressure in the ankle and comparing it with the blood pressure in the arm. An angiogram is usually performed to detect where plaque has built up in the arteries and to examine treatment options.

This can be done with a CT or MRI scan or a catheter-directed angiography, which involves inserting a tiny tube into an artery and injecting dye to detect where the blockages are situated.

What is PVD?

The vascular system consists of several different blood vessels that circulate blood throughout the body, carrying oxygen and nutrients. The vascular system is made up of arteries and arterioles.

The venous system is made up of veins and venules. Capillaries are the smallest blood vessels that provide the connection between the two systems.

PVD is a broad term that refers to any disease that affects blood arteries other than the heart or brain, usually in the extremities (hands and feet).

Thrombosis, or the development of blood clots, can induce more serious venous disorders. These clots obstruct blood flow in the same manner as atherosclerosis does, but they are far more hazardous in that they may not stay where they formed.

It’s crucial to understand that peripheral vascular disease is a “collective word” that includes illnesses of the veins.

Venous insufficiency is the most prevalent of these vein disorders, and it can lead to varicose veins, which are swollen and discolored veins. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) causes clots to break off from their original location and migrate to the lungs.

A pulmonary embolism, which can be deadly, can result from this. Under the “umbrella” of PVD, there are several different kinds of vascular illnesses.

Main Differences Between PAD and PVD

  1. PAD stands for Peripheral artery disease, whereas PVD stands for Peripheral vascular disease
  2. PAD occurs when arterial plaque narrows the arteries in your legs. PVD is similar in that it is caused by blocked veins in the legs.
  3. Arteries transport oxygen-rich blood from your heart to the rest of your body. Veins return oxygen-depleted blood to the heart, where it is re-oxygenated.
  4. PAD affects only arteries, whereas PVD affects not only arteries but also veins and lymphatic vessels.
  5. Symptoms of PAD are Dull pain, Warm Legs, Blood pooling under the skin, whereas symptoms of PVD are Sharp pain, Cool legs, No feelings in ankles and feet.
Difference Between PAD and PVD


  1. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1161/01.cir.70.3.377
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1078588409005747
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