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J Endovasc Ther. 2012 Feb;19(1):12-9. doi: 10.1583/11-3665.1.

Sirolimus-eluting stents for the treatment of infrapopliteal arteries in chronic limb ischemia: long-term clinical and angiographic follow-up.

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Center of Vascular Medicine, Park Hospital Leipzig, Germany.



To present the 5-year angiographic and clinical results of a retrospective registry assessing the performance of sirolimus-eluting stents (SES) in the treatment of infrapopliteal atherosclerotic disease.


From 2004 to 2009, 158 patients (95 men; mean age 71.9 years) with chronic lower limb ischemia (Rutherford categories 3-6) underwent primary SES placement in focal infrapopliteal lesions. The angiographic endpoint was patency, defined as freedom from in-stent stenosis (ISS) >50%. Clinical endpoints were death, amputation, and bypass surgery. Results were correlated with patient and lesion characteristics and cumulative outcomes were assessed with Kaplan-Meier analysis.


Technical success was achieved in all cases. The primary patency rates were 97.0% after 6 months, 87.0% after 12 months, and 83.8% at 60 months. In-stent stenosis was predominantly observed in the first year after stent placement. Female gender was associated with a higher rate of ISS. During clinical follow-up of 144 (91%) patients over a mean 31.1±20.3 months, there were 27 (18.8%) deaths, 4 (2.8%) amputations, and no bypass surgery. Clinical status improved in 92% of the patients with critical limb ischemia (CLI) and 77% of the patients suffering from claudication (p=0.022).


Treatment of focal infrapopliteal lesions with SES showed encouraging long-term angiographic results in this registry. Clinical improvement was evident, but more pronounced in CLI patients than in patients suffering from claudication. Further studies are needed to evaluate the potential clinical benefit of SES as compared to balloon angioplasty or bare metal stents in the treatment of infrapopliteal lesions.

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