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J Vasc Surg. 2013 Jun;57(6):1455-63; discussion 1463-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2012.10.109. Epub 2013 Feb 1.

Outcomes following infrapopliteal angioplasty for critical limb ischemia.

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  • 1Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass 02215, USA.



Infrapopliteal angioplasty (percutaneous transluminal angioplasty [PTA]) is routinely used to treat critical limb ischemia (CLI) despite limited data on long-term outcomes.


We reviewed all patients undergoing infrapopliteal PTA for CLI from 2004 to 2012 stratified by TransAtlantic Inter-Society Consensus (TASC) class. Outcomes included restenosis, primary patency, reintervention (w/PTA or bypass), amputation, procedural complications, wound healing, and survival.


Infrapopliteal PTA (stenting 14%, multilevel intervention 50%) was performed in 459 limbs of 413 patients (59% male) with a technical success of 93% and perioperative complications in 11%. TASC class was 16% A, 22% B, 27% C, and 34% D. Multilevel interventions were performed in 50% of limbs and were evenly distributed among all TASC classes. All technical failures were TASC D lesions. Mean follow-up was 15 months; 5-year survival was 49%. One- and 5-year primary patency was 57% and 38% and limb salvage was 84% and 81%, respectively. Restenosis was associated with TASC C (hazard ratio [HR], 2.2; 95% CI, 1.2-3.9; P = .010) and TASC D (HR, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.3-4.4; P = .004) lesions. Amputation rates were higher in patients who were not candidates for bypass (HR, 4.4; 95% CI, 2.6-7.5; P < .001) and with TASC D lesions (HR, 3.8; 95% CI, 1.1-12.5; P = .03). Unsuitability for bypass was also predictive of repeat PTA (HR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.0-3.4; P = .047). Postoperative clopidogrel use was associated with lower rates of any revascularization (HR, 0.46; 95% CI, 0.25-0.83; P = .011).


Infrapopliteal PTA is effective primary therapy for TASC A, B, and C lesions. Surgical bypass should be offered to patients with TASC D disease who are suitable candidates. Multilevel intervention does not adversely affect outcome.

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