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Medicina (Buenos Aires)

Print version ISSN 0025-7680


PANKL, Sonia; PELLEGRINI, Débora  and  BRUETMAN, Julio E.. Chronic peripheral arterial disease induced by cocaine. Medicina (B. Aires) [online]. 2012, vol.72, n.1, pp.37-39. ISSN 0025-7680.

Cocaine induced acute peripheral thrombosis, though a rare complication, has been described in the literature. Although there are reports describing the chronic effects of cocaine on the peripheral arterial system, there are no published cases of this complication when other risk factors are lacking. We report on a 22 year old female patient, with intranasal consumption of 3 grams of cocaine per week for a year, who consulted for intermittent claudication at 200 meters, associated to left lower limb pain and paresthesiae for the last two months. Arterial Doppler ultrasonography showed a stenosis greater than 70% in the superficial left femoral artery. Other probable etiologies were excluded. Treatment was initiated with acetylsalicylic acid, cilostazol and graded physical exercise, associated to support therapy in order to maintain cocaine consumption avoidance, with good response. This case emphasizes the relevance of patients information, as most people ignore the cardiovascular complication of this addiction. It is also essential to inquire about cocaine consumption in young patients with peripheral arteriopathy and no apparent risk factors.

Keywords : Peripheral arterial disease; Cocaine; Chronic ischemia.

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