What is Buerger’s Disease? Symptoms and Treatment

What is Buerger’s Disease? Symptoms and Treatment

Vasculitides (vascular inflammations) are diseases that include many diseases and are characterized by the development of inflammation in the vein. In Buerger’s disease, which is in this group of disorders, inflammation occurs in the veins of the arms and legs. Edema and occlusions that occur in these small vessels during the course of the disease may result in damage to the skin tissue. The development of Buerger’s disease is particularly associated with tobacco use.

What is Buerger’s Disease?
Buerger’s disease, also known as thromboangiitis obliterans or pruning disease, is an inflammatory disease that affects the small and medium-sized vessels of the lower and upper extremities. The group in which this disease is typically seen is male individuals between the ages of 20 and 50 who use tobacco. Inflammation that develops in the veins can cause slowing or stopping of blood flow in the hands and feet over time.

Individuals with Buerger’s disease usually complain of weakness and pain (claudication) in the arm and leg muscles that go away with rest. If the disease progresses, symptoms such as rest pain and wound development on the fingers can be added to the disease picture.

Currently, there is no treatment method that can completely eliminate Buerger’s disease. Since almost all people suffering from this disease are tobacco users, cessation of tobacco use is the basis of the treatment approach. With the abandonment of this habit, a very positive improvement in the course of the disease can be achieved.

What Causes Buerger’s Disease?
Although the actual mechanism underlying Buerger’s disease has not yet been fully elucidated, tobacco use is a factor closely related to both the onset and progression of the disease.

There are various theories about the emergence of Buerger’s disease. According to some experts, the chemicals exposed to tobacco use in people with Buerger’s disease can cause damage to various important building materials such as collagen in the vessel wall. Another theory for the development of this disease is that tobacco use creates an abnormal response of the immune system to vascular structures in some people. Another issue that experts focus on in the development of Buerger’s disease is genetic predisposition.

The risk factors considered to be effective in the development of Buerger’s disease can be summarized as follows:

Tobacco Use

Individuals who use tobacco have a very high risk of developing Buerger’s disease. The use of tobacco in any form can be effective in the emergence of this ailment. Individuals who smoke rolled cigarettes or consume 1.5 packs of cigarettes per day constitute the group with the highest risk of developing Buerger’s disease. The Mediterranean basin, the Middle East and Asia are among the regions with the highest tobacco use.

What is Buerger's Disease? Symptoms and Treatment
What is Buerger’s Disease? Symptoms and Treatment

Chronic Gum Diseases

The presence of infection in the gums for a long time is a factor that may be associated with the development of Buerger’s disease. However, the connection between these two diseases has not been clearly demonstrated for now.


Buerger’s disease is a disease that is detected at much higher rates in men than in women. The underlying reason for this relationship may be due to the fact that men use tobacco at a higher rate than women.


Buerger’s disease is usually detected in individuals older than 45 years. Therefore, advancing age can be considered as one of the accepted risk factors for the development of this disorder.

What Are the Symptoms of Buerger’s Disease?
In Buerger’s disease, symptoms begin with the development of thrombi (clot) in the blood vessels. Decreased oxygen and nutrient supply to tissues after restriction of normal blood flow may result in damage or death of these tissues. The first symptom of Buerger’s disease is usually a feeling of pain in the affected area. Then, the complaint of weakness can be added to the symptom of pain.

There are many signs and symptoms that may occur with the development of Buerger’s disease:
A temporary feeling of pain in the hands and feet
Open wound on fingers
Inflammation in the veins
Fingers appear pale in cold environments
Worsening of the course of the disease may result in cessation of blood flow in the veins of the hands and feet. After the flow is interrupted, there is a significant decrease in the blood flow reaching the tips of the fingers. Tissues that do not receive enough nutrients and oxygen support may lose their vitality over time. This loss of vitality of tissues may result in the development of gangrene, especially in the tips of the fingers and toes.

Development of dark blue or black skin, loss of sensation in the fingertips or a strong odor in the affected areas are among the symptoms that may occur after the development of gangrene. Gangrene is a very important health problem that needs urgent intervention. For the treatment of this problem, it is usually necessary to amputate the affected area.

How is Buerger’s Disease Diagnosed?
The diagnosis of Buerger’s disease is a clinical diagnosis. The concept of clinical diagnosis means that the diagnosis of this disease is based on the signs and symptoms of the person and there is no specific test that can be used. However, this concept does not mean that no test will be used in Buerger’s disease. Many different tests can be used to differentiate the symptoms that occur during the course of this disease and the disorders that cause similar complaints.

Blood tests are tests that can be useful in differentiating Buerger’s disease from diabetes, lupus and other diseases with a predisposition to blood clots. After these examinations, physicians may apply to the examination of vascular structures with various imaging methods. The radiological examination called angiography is a special x-ray imaging method, and it is performed by physicians by giving contrast material to the person’s arteries (arterial veins). Exclusion of thrombus in distant vessels with echocardiography (ECHO) method is another diagnostic approach for Buerger’s disease.

The Allen test is another test performed by physicians for the diagnosis of Buerger’s disease. The main purpose of this test is to evaluate the blood flow in the hands. It should be noted that being positive for this test is not only a condition that occurs in Buerger’s disease. In this test, which is a simple way to measure blood flow, you must first make sure that the blood moves away from your hand to your arm by clenching your hands tightly.

On the one hand, physicians apply pressure to your arm veins, thereby reducing the amount of blood coming in. During this process, it can be easily observed that the color of the hand gradually becomes lighter. Then people open their hands. After this point, physicians stop pressing on the veins and examine how long it takes for the hand to return to its normal color when pressure is applied to which vein. The fact that this period covers a large period of time can be considered as a finding pointing to Buerger’s disease.

The course of Buerger’s disease may vary depending on whether people quit tobacco use or not. It should be noted that approximately 43% of patients who do not give up this habit may experience amputation (cutting the limb for medical purposes) within 8 years, on average, following the diagnosis. In those who quit smoking, this rate is around 6%. Early diagnosis and treatment are very important in reducing the risk of amputation.

What is Buerger's Disease? Symptoms and Treatment
What is Buerger’s Disease? Symptoms and Treatment


What Is The Treatment For Buerger’s Disease?

Although there is currently no definitive treatment for Buerger’s disease, the cornerstone of treatment is cessation of tobacco use. Even smoking 1-2 cigarettes a day after the onset of the disease can aggravate the discomfort process.

Apart from the termination of this harmful habit, other applications that answer the question of how Buerger’s disease will pass are as follows:
Use of vasodilating drugs
Doing physical activity such as walking

  • Compressing the arms and legs intermittently
  • Cutting the sensory nerves in the affected area (sympathectomy)
  • If you notice the signs and symptoms of Buerger’s disease in your body, which can significantly improve the course of tobacco use, it is recommended that you apply to the nearest health
  • institutions and seek support from specialist physicians.

You can ask the expert team of Group Florence Nightingale Hospitals about the issues you are wondering about Buerger’s disease, and you can ask for suggestions regarding your question. You can use the contact form on our website to reach us.

You know, it is the first love of little girls, here we live our first dream from our father. He is the first man we trust in our life, but we also take our first indifference from him. Sometimes you just hope and wait Maybe, maybe one day my father will love me and understand how I feel. But deep inside you always yearn and love it. Sometimes you just want to cry. You want to experience something different than your pathetic life. You look for different excitements, you try to forget about it. Because you just wanted to trust. When you have a child in the future, you don’t want them to experience this. This feeling is indescribable.I am about to lose my father to this disease. I hope it lasts long I’m not ready at all I grew up without love I didn’t learn to love I just tried to feel it. For years, not only my father, but I also carried this disease on my shoulders, I couldn’t feel his love, but I felt his pain… I wish no one would experience such pain……

Source: https://www.florence.com.tr/& https://www.hurriyet.com.tr/ 

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