The results of the treatment of 24 subjects--10 of them diabetic--with peripheral obstructive arterial disease of the lower limbs by transcutaneous electrical stimulation (TES) have been studied. The chronic ischemia of the lower extremities was complicated with ulceration in 12 and initial or advanced gangrene in 6 patients. All patients had been treated with antiplatelet drugs, pentoxifylline, and vasodilating drugs for many years. The drug therapy was continued, and TES was given daily for twenty minutes. The results were estimated after four to eight weeks of hospitalization and during a one-year follow-up in numerous cases. Except for 4 patients the improvement was very significant in all cases: the pain disappeared, the gangrenous process of the toes stopped, regression or complete healing of the ulceration could be observed, and the painfree walking distance increased. The oxygen saturation measured on the toes increased significantly during electrical stimulation. The blood pressure measured in the tibial artery showed very different changes. According to these observations TES appears to be a useful method superior to drug therapy in curing arterial circulatory disturbances of the lower extremities.
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