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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Adult and Senior Health Buerger's Disease 1

Buerger's Disease 1

Buerger's disease is a rare disease of the arteries and veins in the arms and legs. In Buerger's disease, blood vessels swell and can become blocked with blood clots .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 arms and legs. It is found in smokers and other forms of tobacco users more common in the Middle East and Far East. Buerger's disease usually affects men between ages 20 and 40, though it's becoming more common in women.


Buerger's disease symptoms include:

  •  Pain and weakness in your legs and feet or your arms and hands
  •  Swelling in your feet and hands
  •  Fingers and toes that turn pale when exposed to cold (Raynaud's phenomenon)
  •  Open sores on your fingers and toes


  • Smoking and obesity are the few common causes
  • It isn't clear what triggers Buerger's disease. The condition is caused by swelling in the arteries and veins of the arms and legs. The cells that cause the swelling — and eventually blood clots — form in the vessels leading to hands and feet and block the blood flow to those parts of  body.
  • Reduced blood flow means that the skin tissue in your hands and feet doesn't get adequate oxygen and nutrients. This leads to the signs and symptoms of Buerger's disease, beginning with pain and weakness in your fingers and toes and spreading to other parts of your arms and legs.

Tests and diagnosis

  •  History and clinical examination is more than enough

Blood tests

  • Blood tests to look for certain substances can rule out other conditions that may cause similar signs and symptoms. For instance, blood tests can help rule out scleroderma, lupus, blood clotting disorders and diabetes, along with other diseases and conditions.

 The Allen's test

  • Allen's test to check blood flow through the arteries carrying blood to your hands.


An angiogram, also called an arteriogram, helps to see the condition of your arteries. Doctors inject dye into an artery and then take X-rays or other types of images. Images show any blockages in the artery.

Treatments and drugs

 No treatments can cure Buerger's disease. Instead, your doctor may try various treatment approaches to reduce any signs and symptoms you have. Options include:

  •  Counseling or medications to help stop smoking and stop the swelling in  blood vessels
  •  Medications to improve blood flow or to dissolve blood clots
  •  Surgery to cut the nerves in the affected area (surgical sympathectomy) to control pain
  •  Amputation, if infection or gangrene occurs