Send to

Choose Destination
J Vasc Surg. 2010 May;51(5 Suppl):69S-75S. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2010.02.001.

Bypass versus Angioplasty in Severe Ischaemia of the Leg (BASIL) and the (hoped for) dawn of evidence-based treatment for advanced limb ischemia.

Author information

Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery and the Heart and Vascular Center, University of California-San Francisco, 400 Parnassus Ave., San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.


The Bypass versus Angioplasty in Severe Ischemia of the Leg (BASIL) trial is the only randomized controlled trial (RCT) to date comparing open surgical bypass with endovascular therapy for severe limb ischemia (SLI). In their initial 2005 publication, the BASIL investigators reported that the main clinical outcomes (overall survival and amputation-free survival) were no different at 2 years after randomization to angioplasty-first or bypass-first revascularization strategies. However, beyond 2 years there appeared to be a benefit for open bypass surgery, providing impetus for an extension study. The final analysis of the long-term outcomes from BASIL is now presented in a set of articles that are reviewed in this commentary. The benefit of initial randomization to open surgery for patients surviving > or =2 years (70% of the BASIL cohort) was confirmed. When outcomes were analyzed by treatment received, patients who had received prosthetic bypass grafts (25% of the surgical arm) fared much more poorly than those treated with a vein bypass. Patients who underwent surgical bypass after an initial failed angioplasty also fared significantly worse than those who were treated initially with bypass surgery. Health-related quality of life measures and costs were not significantly different overall. There are many controversies surrounding the BASIL trial and its interpretation, which are reviewed herein. These include the choice of study population, end points examined, and the nature of procedures performed. The BASIL trial confirms the primacy of open surgical bypass with vein for most patients with SLI and raises questions about the sequelae of failed endovascular interventions. Further multicenter trials are needed to address the large gap in evidence for treatment selection in this patient population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center