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Minerva Cardioangiol. 2006 Jun;54(3):377-81.

Comparison between intravenous iloprost and vasoactive drugs in limb ischemia IIB severe. A retrospective analysis.

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  • 1Department of Angiology, Vittorio Emanuele Ferrarotto, S. Bambino Hospital, Catania, Italy.



Peripheral arterial vascular disease is caused by atherosclerosis. The severity of peripheral arterial disease is closely associated with the risk of myocardial infarction, ischemic stroke, and death from vascular causes. Approximately 1/3 of patients with peripheral disease have typical claudication. The goals of treatment for patients with claudication are to relieve their exertional symptoms, increase walking capacity, and globally improve their quality of life. In the peripheral arterial disease IIB stage, with claudication < 100 meters, no useful medical therapy is available. Aim of this investigation is to analyse, in a retrospective way, two groups of patients treated with vasodilator drugs or iloprost.


Data from 99 patients were registered: 79 patients were treated regularly with iloprost, administered for 10 days, 4 times a year. The 2nd group of 20 patients was treated with buflomedil 600 mg/die or pentoxifilline 1200 mg/die. The end point was the pain-free walking distance (PFWD) evaluated with treadmill test at basal conditions and at 3, 6, 12, 18 months.


Treatment groups showed no difference as for occurrence of by-pass surgery or endovascular procedures during follow-up. Improvement in PFWD was significantly more evident in patients treated with iloprost as compared with the control (P = 0.02). Even considering the PFWD variations at any follow-up step vs basal value, we always observed a statistically significant difference with iloprost, P < 0.0001.


The study suggests that iloprost may be effective in improving walking distance in severe IIB stage peripheral arterial vascular disease.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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