Topics: Peripheral Artery Disease, "Diabetic Foot Disease", Diabetes, diabetic foot ulcer

The relationship between diabetes and peripheral artery disease (PAD) is complex. A diabetic foot ulcer requires adequate blood circulation to heal.  If the circulation is impaired such that tissue oxygen demand exceeds supply, critical limb ischemia may ensue.  A diabetic’s limb can become at risk when antibiotics are unable to reach the infected wound due to clogged arteries.

  1. 30.3 million Americans are living with diabetes.1
  2. Up to 40% diabetics have PAD.2
  3. Up to 25% of those with diabetes will develop ulcers in their lifetime.3
  4. 50% mortality rate at two years for individuals with diabetes and PAD.2
  5. 25% of foot ulcers will not heal.2
  6. 85% of diabetes-related lower extremity amputations are preceded by a foot ulcer.4
  7. Lower-limb ulcers are the most reliable harbingers of future amputation.5
  8. Every year, >1 million diabetics suffer limb loss.6
  9. Every 20 seconds, an amputation occurs in the world due to diabetes.5,6
  10. 28% of foot ulcers may result in some form of amputation.2
  11. Foot ulcers and amputations cost the U.S. health care system an estimated $29 billion in 2007.7
  12. Revascularization should be strongly considered if a diabetic foot wound does not promptly respond to standard wound care.2
  13. Diabetics with lower extremity complications have 5-year mortality rates similar or worse than many common types of cancer.8


If you are suffering from diabetic foot disease and your wounds are not healing, blocked arteries due to PAD might be the culprit.  Treatment guidelines state that a revascularization procedure “should be strongly considered if a diabetic foot wound does not promptly respond to standard wound care.”2

Treating the infection with antibiotics requires adequate blood flow to infected tissues.8 For this reason, a procedure to unclog the arteries can be vital to saving the limb.9

A revascularization procedure, such as Lumivascular atherectomy, works by removing plaque from your arteries and restoring blood flow to your lower limbs. A significant advancement in the treatment of patients with peripheral artery disease and diabetes is image-guided atherectomy with Lumivascular technology.  This minimally invasive procedure allows a doctor to see inside an artery so that they can precisely remove plaque that is preventing blood flow.  In addition, a Lumivascular procedure helps prevent against vessel injury which has been shown to cause the return of blockage within a year.10

To find a doctor in your area offering a Lumivascular atherectomy, click here.


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About a Lumivascular atherectomy

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  1. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (July 18, 2017) New CDC report: More than 100 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes. Retrieved from:
  2. Hingorani, et al. The management of diabetic foot: A clinical practice guideline by the Society for Vascular Surgery in collaboration with the American Podiatric Medical Association and the Society for Vascular Medicine. J Vasc Surg 2016;63:3S-21S
  3. Singh, et al. Preventing foot ulcers in patients with diabetes. JAMA 2005;293:217-28.
  4. Pecoraro, et al. Pathways to diabetic limb amputation: basis for prevention. Diabetes Care 1990;13:513-21.
  5. Beckert, et al. A New Wound-Based Severity Score for Diabetic Foot Ulcers. Diabetes Care 2006; 29:988–992
  6. Boulton, et al. J. The global burden of diabetic foot disease. Lancet 2005;366:1719-24.
  7. Rogers, et al. The right to bear legs—An amendment to healthcare; how preventing amputations can save billions to the US health-care system. J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 2008;98:166-8.
  8. Armstrong, et al. Guest editorial: are diabetes-related wounds and amputations worse than cancer? Int Wound J. 2007;4(4):286–7
  9. Schaper, et al. Specific guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of peripheral arterial disease in a patient with diabetes and ulceration of the foot 2011. Diabetes Metab Res Rev 2012; 28(Suppl 1): 236–237
  10. Tarricone, et al. Histopathological Evidence of Adventitial or Medial Injury Is a Strong Predictor of Restenosis During Directional Atherectomy for Peripheral Artery Disease. J Endovasc Ther. 2015 Oct;22(5):712-5.