What does angiology mean?
The word angiology comes from the Greek words “angio,” vein, and “logos,” knowledge, meaning this specialty of medicine treats diseases of the blood vessels (arteries, veins) and lymphatic vessels. All the tissues of the body are encompassed by two circulatory systems, one with blood and the other with lymph. However, the final outflow strains of the lymphatic system, which are completely independent from the blood system, open into the veins, causing the lymph to eventually mix with the bloodstream.
What does the angiologist do?
Our whole body is encompassed by blood vessels, however, the science of angiology and angiologists deal with abnormalities in the blood vessels outside the heart and cerebral vessels, cardiologists with the heart and its vascular system, and neurologists with cerebral vascular diseases.
The angiologist does not perform surgeries, it is the responsibility of the vascular surgeon. Their task is to diagnose and treat vascular diseases, to suggest certain lifestyle changes, and to monitor the patient’s condition. If surgery is required, the angiologist will provide aftercare for the patient. The angiolgist plays an important role in prevention by conducting screening tests.
What are the symptoms of angiological diseases?
In Hungary, the number of vascular diseases – arterial, venous and lymphatic – is increasing with the increase of civilizational damage, similarly to other countries. Both arterial and venous disease are considered endemics. Angiological diseases affect nearly 10% of the population.
- uncertain lower limb pain, which typically occurs during exercise,
- nocturnal leg cramps,
- swelling of the lower limbs,
- leg ulcer,
- cold feet
- uncertain numbness of the legs and arms,
- sudden discoloration of fingers
What diseases can be classified as angiological diseases?
Diseases of the arteries
- Peripheral arterial stenosis
- Acute occlusion of limb artery (emergency case)
- Vascular encephalopathy (narrowing and infarction of cerebral arteries)
- Occlusion of the arteries of the internal organs
- Raynaud’s syndrome (narrowing of the artery of the hand, autoimmune disease)
Diseases of the veins
- Varicose veins
- Thrombophlebitis (superficial venous inflammation)
- Deep venous thrombosis, DVT
- Paget-Schroetter syndrome (cervical or collarbone thrombosis)
- Antiphospholipid syndrome (coagulation disorder, mainly during pregnancy in both vascular types, of autoimmune origin)
- Thrombosis prophylaxis, prevention (everything related to post-operative medication to inhibit blood clots and mobilization)
- Chronic venous insufficiency (venostasis, venous hypertension while standing, skin lesions)
- Group of diseases caused by embolisms (particles drifting in the vascular system, mainly blood clots), the most important being pulmonary embolism
Diseases of the lymphatic system
- Lymphangitis (inflammation of the lymphatic vessel, mainly in the limbs)
- Erysipelas (inflammation of the skin and subcutaneous tissue, Streptococcus infection, spreading through lymphatics)
- Lymphedema (tissue swelling due to reduced capacity of the lymphatic vessels with lymphatic congestion, thickening of the limbs).
How does an angiological examination go?
Having recorded a detailed medical history, a physical examination is performed at the angiology clinic, with pulse palpation of the limbs playing a major role.
In addition, ultrasound can be used to find out if there is narrowing in the arteries of the foot, and we can monitor the flow in them. The veins are also examined with ultrasound, in which case the wall thickness of the veins and the valves in them can also be viewed.