This guideline covers diagnosing and managing peripheral arterial disease (PAD) in people aged 18 and over. Rapid changes in diagnostic methods, endovascular treatments and vascular services associated with new specialties in surgery and interventional radiology have resulted in considerable uncertainty and variation in practice. This guideline aims to resolve that uncertainty and variation.
In December 2020, we added links to NICE guidelines supporting discussion with people about safe prescribing of opioids, in response to a Public Health England evidence review on dependence on, and withdrawal from, prescribed medicines.
This guideline includes recommendations on:
- assessing for PAD
- imaging for revascularisation
- managing intermittent claudication
- managing critical limb ischaemia
- preventing cardiovascular disease in people with PAD
Who is it for?
- Healthcare professionals
- Commissioners and providers
- Adults, and their families and carers
Guideline development process
This guideline was previously called lower limb peripheral arterial disease: diagnosis and management.
The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals and practitioners are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or the people using their service. It is not mandatory to apply the recommendations, and the guideline does not override the responsibility to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual, in consultation with them and their families and carers or guardian.
All problems (adverse events) related to a medicine or medical device used for treatment or in a procedure should be reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency using the Yellow Card Scheme.
Local commissioners and providers of healthcare have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual professionals and people using services wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with complying with those duties.
Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.