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Surgery. 2000 Sep;128(3):472-9.

Is lower extremity revascularization worthwhile in patients with end-stage renal disease?

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Division of Vascular Surgery, New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY 10021, USA.



The purpose of this study was to review the results of lower extremity revascularization in patients with end-stage renal disease and to determine in these patients the functional benefit and cost of an aggressive approach to limb preservation.


During a 5-year period at our institution, 33 bypass operations were performed on 31 limbs of 23 dialysis-dependent patients. Indications for revascularization were limited (18) or extensive (12) tissue loss or ischemia without tissue loss (3). Procedures included aortobifemoral bypass (1), femoropopliteal bypass (10), and femorotibial/pedal bypass (22). A digital or transmetatarsal amputation was performed in 57% of limbs.


The 30-day primary patency was 100%. Cumulative primary and secondary patency rates at 2 years were 65% and 79%, respectively. Limb salvage was 67% and 59% at 1 and 2 years, respectively. Patient survival was poor (47% at 2 years). Peritoneal dialysis was predictive of poor survival (P <.001). Four of 5 patients on peritoneal dialysis died within 3 months of intervention. Extensive tissue loss was predictive of a diminished rate of limb salvage (P =.027). Only 39% of limbs with extensive tissue loss were salvaged at 1 year compared with 78% and 100% of limbs with limited and no tissue loss, respectively. The average hospital cost was $44,308 per year of limb salvage.


Although revascularization of ischemic limbs in dialysis patients can be achieved with an excellent initial graft patency and reasonable limb salvage, patient survival is poor and costs are high. A selective approach to revascularization in these complicated patients may be indicated. For patients treated with peritoneal dialysis and for those with extensive tissue loss, primary amputation may be the preferred approach.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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