Angiology studies the anatomy and pathologies affecting blood and lymphatic vessels. Among the pathologies affecting arterial vessels are aneurysm, atherosclerosis and dissection of the aorta, thrombosis and embolism. Among those affecting the venous vessels are varicose veins, chronic venous insufficiency and venous thrombosis, while the lymphatic vessels are mainly affected by cases of primary or secondary lymphedema.
Dr. Chiara Ercolani, who holds a specialist master's degree in vascular medicine gives an overview of the importance of angiological prevention, fundamental in the early detection and treatment of important pathologies.
Dr. Ercolani explained: "Angiology studies peripheral, arterial and venous vascular diseases, using echocolordoppler. It is a non-invasive diagnostic test that uses ultrasound to obtain a morphological and functional study of the main blood vessels.
In fact, this method allows to explore both the blood flow (Doppler) but also the state of the vessel wall (Eco and Color) providing important information on the patency of the vessels. It is possible to visualize the arterial and venous wall, the presence of arterial plaques or venous thrombi that reduce the vessel lumen, obtaining important therapeutic indications.
For example, talking about the intima-media thickness (IMT), it is a fundamental factor in order to understand the atherosclerotic risk, but also the need and effectiveness of antiplatelet therapy. The echocolordoppler study makes it possible to distinguish between hypoechoic (potentially growing) and hyperechoic (usually stabilized) plaques, their surface (smooth or irregular), their short or long term evolutionary risk, and finally the degree of obstruction (stenosis).
Stenosis grade can indicate whether to continue only with medical or if the patient needs a surgery."
Importance of angiology in cardiovascular prevention
Dr. Chiara Ercolani then added: "At the arterial level it is therefore possible to study and monitor atherosclerotic, stenotic and aneurysmal pathology.
At the venous level, the ecocolordoppler allows to study the reflux pathology (venous insufficiency, varicose veins), inflammation phenomena (phlebitis) and occlusion (phlebothrombosis). The vascular echocolordoppler is very useful not only in the context of a therapeutic path, but also for preventive purposes.
If the patient has cardiovascular risk factors (such as diabetes, arterial hypertension, hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia, and in smokers) or is familiar, it is advisable to undergo an echocolordoppler around 50 year-old."