This table lists symptoms that people with this disease may have. For most diseases, symptoms will vary from person to person. People with the same disease may not have all the symptoms listed. The HPO collects information on symptoms that have been described in medical resources. The HPO is updated regularly. If you need medical advice, you can look for doctors or other healthcare professionals who have experience with this disease.
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In Buerger's disease, your blood vessels swell and can become blocked with blood clots thrombi. This eventually damages or destroys skin tissues and may lead to infection and gangrene. Buerger's disease usually first shows in the hands and feet and may expand to affect larger areas of your arms and legs. Buerger's disease is a rare disease of the arteries and veins in the arms and legs. In Buerger's disease — also called thromboangiitis obliterans — your blood vessels become inflamed, swell and can become blocked with blood clots thrombi.
Buerger's disease usually first shows in your hands and feet and may eventually affect larger areas of your arms and legs. Virtually everyone diagnosed with Buerger's disease smokes cigarettes or uses other forms of tobacco, such as chewing tobacco.
Quitting all forms of tobacco is the only way to stop Buerger's disease. For those who don't quit, amputation of all or part of a limb is sometimes necessary. The exact cause of Buerger's disease is unknown. While tobacco use clearly plays a role in the development of Buerger's disease, it's not clear how it does so.
It's thought that chemicals in tobacco may irritate the lining of your blood vessels, causing them to swell. Experts suspect that some people may have a genetic predisposition to the disease. It's also possible that the disease is caused by an autoimmune response in which the body's immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue.
Cigarette smoking greatly increases your risk of Buerger's disease. But Buerger's disease can occur in people who use any form of tobacco, including cigars and chewing tobacco. People who smoke hand-rolled cigarettes using raw tobacco and those who smoke more than a pack and half of cigarettes a day may have the greatest risk of Buerger's disease. The rates of Buerger's disease are highest in areas of the Mediterranean, Middle East and Asia where heavy smoking is most common.
Long-term infection of the gums has been linked to the development of Buerger's disease, though the reason for this connection isn't yet clear. Buerger's disease is far more common in males than in females. However, this difference may be linked to higher rates of smoking in men. If Buerger's disease worsens, blood flow to your arms and legs decreases. This is due to blockages that make it hard for blood to reach the tips of your fingers and toes.
Tissues that don't receive blood don't get the oxygen and nutrients they need to survive. This can cause the skin and tissue on the ends of your fingers and toes to die gangrene. Signs and symptoms of gangrene include black or blue skin, a loss of feeling in the affected finger or toe, and a foul smell from the affected area. Gangrene is a serious condition that usually requires amputation of the affected finger or toe.
Virtually everyone who has Buerger's disease has used tobacco in some form, most prominently cigarettes. To prevent Buerger's disease, it's important to not use tobacco.
Quitting smoking can be hard. If you're like most people who smoke, you've probably tried to quit in the past. It's never too late to try again.
Talk to your doctor about strategies to help you quit. Buerger's disease care at Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. This content does not have an English version.
This content does not have an Arabic version. Overview Buerger's disease Open pop-up dialog box Close. Buerger's disease In Buerger's disease, your blood vessels swell and can become blocked with blood clots thrombi. Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic. Share on: Facebook Twitter. Show references Ferri FF. Thromboangiitis obliterans. In: Ferri's Clinical Advisor Philadelphia, Pa. Accessed Dec. Smoking and Buerger's disease. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Olin, JW. Thromboangiitis obliterans Buerger's disease. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Klein-Weigel P, et al. Buerger's disease: Providing integrated care. Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare. Cacione DG, et al. Pharmacological treatment for Buerger's disease Review.
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Mohammad-Hadi S, et al. Vascular and Endovascular Surgery. Kim DH, et al. Immediate and late outcomes of endovascular therapy for lower extremity arteries in Buerger disease.
Journal of Vascular Surgery. Sidawy AN, et al. Thromboangiitis obliterans Buerger disease. Riggin EA. AllScripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.
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Patients may initially present with nonspecific symptoms such as hand and foot claudication, which eventually progresses to ischemic ulceration. A biopsy is often necessary to make the diagnosis because the imaging appearance and symptoms overlap with those of atherosclerosis and other connective tissue diseases. Although it more commonly affects medium and small vessels of the lower extremities, upper extremity involvement may also be seen. Corkscrew collateral vessels are not, however, pathognomonic for Buerger disease as they may be seen in patients with connective tissue disease. Please Note: You can also scroll through stacks with your mouse wheel or the keyboard arrow keys.