Cardiac Question #18


The nurse is caring for a client diagnosed with peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAD). What assessment finding is most consistent with this diagnosis?


  1. Thick, tough, brownish pigmented skin to extremities
  2. Unequal peripheral pulses between extremities
  3. Complaints of pain relieved by elevation
  4. Diffuse varicosities along back of legs bilaterally


Peripheral pulse changes may be diminished to absent in affected limb with PAD. Other changes are skin color with mottled pallor which worsens when elevated and rubor when dependent, pain, loss of hair on lower extremity, dry scaly skin, and paresthesia. The other selections are characteristic of venous insufficiency versus arterial insufficiency.