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Atherosclerosis. 2012 Apr;221(2):527-35. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2012.01.002. Epub 2012 Jan 24.

Fate of individuals with ischemic amputations in the REACH Registry: three-year cardiovascular and limb-related outcomes.

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  • 1Division of Education, Philippine Heart Center, Quezon City, Philippines.



To evaluate systemic and limb ischemic event rates of PAD patients with prior leg amputation and determine predictors of adverse outcomes.


The REduction of Atherothrombosis for Continued Health (REACH) Registry provided a prospective multinational cohort of 7996 outpatients with PAD enrolled from primary medical clinics in 44 countries in 2003-2004. 1160 patients (14.5%) had a prior leg amputation at any level. Systemic (myocardial infarction [MI], stroke, cardiovascular death) and limb (angioplasty, surgery, amputation) ischemic event rates were determined in a 3-year follow-up.


PAD patients with leg amputations on entry had a 5-fold higher rate of a subsequent amputation (12.4% vs. 2.4%, P<.001), lower rate of peripheral angioplasty (8.3% vs. 10.7%, P = .005), and similar rates of surgical revascularization procedures compared with PAD patients without amputation. A nearly 2-fold increase in rates of cardiovascular death (14.5% vs. 7.7%, P<.001) and all-cause mortality (21.8% vs. 12.6%, P<.001) and an increase in the composite outcome of MI, stroke, cardiovascular death, or hospitalization (48.7% vs. 40.0%, P<.001) were noted. Recent (≤ 1 year) amputation was associated with higher rates of worsening PAD, subsequent lower extremity surgical revascularization procedures, re-amputation, non-fatal MI, and the composite outcome, including hospitalization. Adverse systemic and limb ischemic outcomes were similar regardless of amputation level.


Individuals with a history of leg amputations have markedly elevated rates of systemic and limb-related outcomes. PAD patients with recent ischemic amputation have the highest risk of adverse events. A history of "minor" ischemic amputation may confer an identical systemic risk as "major" leg amputation.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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