Microangiopathy: Symptoms and Treatment

Microangiopathy is a pathological condition characterized by the destruction of small blood vessels in the human body. First of all, the capillaries undergo destruction. Most often this pathology is not an independent nosological unit, but acts as a symptom of other diseases progressing in the human body.

A variety of this disease is angiopathy of the retina vessels, as well as capillaries in the kidneys. Microangiopathy can develop in any part of the human body. Usually, its progression is facilitated by infectious ailments, diabetes mellitus, liver pathology and hematopoiesis.

In most clinical situations, microangiopathy is a consequence of such pathological processes:

  • fibrinoid
  • formation of foci of necrosis
  • hyalinosis. This pathological process is one of the types of protein dystrophy. Its characteristic feature is the deposition of hyaline in the tissues of the body;
  • thrombosis.

Clinic of microangiopathy directly depends on which part of the body was affected, as well as the impact on it of various adverse factors. The main symptoms of pathology include the violation of the process of blood clotting, the destruction of the walls of blood vessels. Most often at the same time with this pathology, the patient develops gliosis foci in the brain, the appearance of purpura, damage to red blood cells, and the progression of renal failure.


The main causes of progression of microangiopathy are as follows:

  1. mechanical injuries of varying severity;
  2. burdened heredity
  3. the presence of pathologies that affect plasma and blood elements
  4. intoxication of the body
  5. decreased body reactivity
  6. hypertension

Also, the progression of angiopathy can be caused by frequent smoking or excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages.


In medicine, several forms of pathology are distinguished, differing in symptomatic and etiological ways.

  • microangiopathy of the brain. Also in the medical literature, you can find the second name of this pathological condition — cerebral microangiopathy. In this case, the vessels of small caliber, localized in the brain, are affected. As a consequence, possible progression of dangerous complications, among which in the first place is gliosis. The defeat of blood vessels that feed the brain is usually observed with atherosclerosis and persistent hypertension
  • diabetic microangiopathy. This is a symptom that usually accompanies diabetes mellitus
  • Thrombotic microangiopathy. It differs from other forms in that it has a sporadic character. Most often, the manifestation of pathology is observed in women bearing a child, people suffering from hypertension, as well as in those who have an oncological or systemic pathology in an anamnesis.


As it was said above, the symptoms of pathology depend on which particular form started to progress in a person.

Brain damage

Symptoms of microangiopathy of the brain appear gradually. The clinical picture of the pathology is represented by signs of ischemia, lacunar infarction and encephalopathy. All this leads to a focal or diffuse lesion of the organ, as a result of which foci of gliosis form on it.

Symptoms of the disease:

  1. memory impairment
  2. increased fatigue;
  3. weakness;
  4. Headache of varying degrees of intensity. Most often, the pain syndrome is not stopped by the use of pain medication.

Because of the defeat of the capillary machine, the processes of oxidative phosphorylation are triggered in the brain. As a result, foci of gliosis are formed, which initially do not pose a threat to health, but later, as they grow, a person’s vision may decrease, coordination of movements and so on. The severity of symptoms depends on the number of sites with gliosis.

Diabetic microangiopathy

Diabetic microangiopathy is the most dangerous manifestation of diabetes mellitus. The danger is connected with the fact that this ailment causes the violation of the processes of feeding tissue structures and the removal of toxic substances from them. If the pathology is not detected in time and not treated, the vessels will narrow even more, which leads to tissue hypoxia.

Characteristic manifestations of this syndrome:

  • diabetic nephropathy. This syndrome occurs in a third of patients with diabetes mellitus. It is characterized by impaired renal function and their edema;
  • Diabetic angioretinopathy. In this case, there is a lesion of blood vessels that supply blood to the retina;
  • microangiopathy of the lower extremities. Pathological condition, due to the progress of which there is a violation of blood supply of the lower extremities, nutrition of their tissues. The foot usually suffers most, but often the leg, the knee joint and the thigh are involved in the pathological process. «Diabetic foot» — a form of microangiopathy of the lower extremities. First, patients begin to complain about the appearance of pain in the lower extremities and increased fatigue. First, the pain syndrome manifests itself moderately and is aching. But as the pathology progresses, the pain in the lower limbs becomes intolerable. Gradually there are such symptoms: numbness and burning sensation in the lower extremities, a feeling of «crawling crawling,» an increase in the size of the shin and foot. In more severe clinical situations, ulcers often form pathological ulcers that do not heal for a long time.

Thrombotic microangiopathy

Symptoms of thrombotic microangiopathy are as follows:

  1. intestinal prodrome, which usually proceeds as a post-diarrheal syndrome;
  2. abdominal pain syndrome that does not have a clear localization
  3. In some clinical situations, the intestinal prodrome may proceed as a diarrheal syndrome.

Diagnostic and treatment measures

The standard pathology diagnosis plan includes:

  • US of the fundus;
  • blood vessel ultrasound;
  • X-ray;
  • MRI
  • CT.

Doctors treat the treatment of an ailment depending on the etiology and localization of the lesion. In most clinical situations, the patient is prescribed drug therapy, the main goal of which is to improve blood microcirculation. Also, the treatment plan necessarily includes physiotherapy.