Although peripheral vascular diseases are a common cause of morbidity and mortality in our population, they are frequently poorly understood by practicing physicians and surgeons. The development of noninvasive diagnostic techniques and successful surgical methods of treatment has resulted in the rapid growth of vascular surgery and the publication of a number of excellent textbooks on it.
For many years comparable growth did not occur in vascular medicine except in several isolated centers. One such was the Mayo Clinic, whose physicians published the "bible" of vascular medicine, Peripheral Vascular Diseases. The text was first published in 1946 and was revised with four editions, the last in 1980.
Since then, a number of major developments have occurred, including the perfection and refinement of balloon angioplasty to treat vascular stenoses, the development of effective thrombolytic therapy, the introduction of new and effective methods of treating hyperlipidemia, and a better understanding of vasoactive