African American man educated about Critical Limb Ischemia

Critical Limb Ischemia

Don’t ignore severe pain in your feet or toes. Complications of poor circulation can be serious. It’s time to get to a doctor.

About Critical Limb Ischemia

CLI, the most severe form of PAD, is caused by a narrowing of the arteries in extremities that typically affects the legs. It’s caused by the same artery-clogging plaque that causes heart attacks and strokes, and often results in amputation.

Who’s at Risk for Critical Limb Ischemia?

About 10 million people have critical limb ischemia (CLI), the most severe form of peripheral artery disease (PAD). Black men are more likely to progress from PAD to CLI than Caucasian men1. The condition often remains untreated, with significant disparities in revascularization and amputation rates according to race, socioeconomic status and where you live.

nine out of ten

People with CLI are either current or ex-smokers


Main risk factors are smoking and diabetes

African American woman informed about CLI prevention

Manage Your Risk Factors

You may be at an increased risk for certain disease states due to your race, ethnicity and gender–but these factors shouldn’t stand in the way to receiving appropriate care. You can protect your and your family’s health, starting with learning the lifestyle changes that lowers risks the most.

Learn how to prevent CLI

Symptoms of Critical Limb Ischemia

Noticing and reporting symptoms early is very important because with CLI, time matters. The sooner blood flow can be re-established to the lower leg or foot, the chances of better long-term outcomes for you.


What to watch for

foot icon Leg and foot pain while exercising and while at rest
cracking skin icon Cracks and sores that don't heal
bandaid icon Infections


How Critical Limb Ischemia Is Diagnosed

Check your risk. Catching CLI early means that you can get treatment to prevent CLI from getting worse, potentially reducing chances of needing an amputation. Take a quick risk assessment to find out if you’re at risk for CLI, and what you can do about it.

Treatment for Critical Limb Ischemia

The goal for people with CLI is to minimize tissue loss, heal wounds and to make sure your limb gets the blood it needs to work properly. It’s important to get to a doctor right away if you think you’re at risk.

Caucasian man delighted about Critical Limb Ischemia awareness
Newer treatment options are being developed
Caucasian males hugging about CLI treatment awareness

Learn about treatment for PAD, which can lead to CLI

Resources & Research

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Boston Scientific talked to patients around the country to find out what resources would be most helpful and designed this resource page with your needs in mind.

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Learn About Diversity in Clinical Trials

Women and minority clinical trial volunteers are needed in order to create meaningful medical research that applies to people of all backgrounds.

  • Find out who’s under-represented in clinical trials
  • Find out about the benefits for your family and community
  • Learn the basics about participating in clinical research
  • Take steps to improve diversity in clinical trials
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1 Rivero, M. Nader, N. Blochle, R. Harris, L. Dryjski, M. Dosluoglu, H. (2016). Pooper limb salvage in African American men with chronic limb ischemia is due to advanced clinical stage and higher anatomic complexity at presentation. Journal of Vascular Surgery. 63(3) pg. 1318-1324.