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Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol. 2013 Jun;36(3):645-58. doi: 10.1007/s00270-013-0578-2. Epub 2013 Feb 22.

Systematic review of infrapopliteal drug-eluting stents: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

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Department of Interventional Radiology, Guy's and St. Thomas' Hospitals, NHS Foundation Trust, King's Health Partners, London, SE1 7EH, UK.



Drug-eluting stents (DES) have been proposed for the treatment of infrapopliteal arterial disease. We performed a systematic review to provide a qualitative analysis and quantitative data synthesis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) assessing infrapopliteal DES.


PubMed (Medline), EMBASE (Excerpta Medical Database), AMED (Allied and Complementary medicine Database), Scopus, CENTRAL (Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials), online content, and abstract meetings were searched in September 2012 for eligible RCTs according to the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses selection process. Risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane Collaboration's tool. Primary endpoint was primary patency defined as absence of ≥50 % vessel restenosis at 1 year. Secondary outcome measures included patient survival, limb amputations, change of Rutherford-Becker class, target lesion revascularization (TLR) events, complete wound healing, and event-free survival at 1 year. Risk ratio (RRs) were calculated using the Mantel-Haenszel fixed effects model, and number-needed-to-treat values are reported.


Three RCTs involving 501 patients with focal infrapopliteal lesions were analyzed (YUKON-BTX, DESTINY, and ACHILLES trials). All three RCTs included relatively short and focal infrapopliteal lesions. At 1 year, there was clear superiority of infrapopliteal DES compared with control treatments in terms of significantly higher primary patency (80.0 vs. 58.5 %; pooled RR = 1.37, 95 % confidence interval [CI] = 1.18-1.58, p < 0.0001; number-needed-to-treat (NNT) value = 4.8), improvement of Rutherford-Becker class (79.0 vs. 69.6 %; pooled RR = 1.13, 95 % CI = 1.002-1.275, p = 0.045; NNT = 11.1), decreased TLR events (9.9 vs. 22.0 %; pooled RR = 0.45, 95 % CI = 0.28-0.73, p = 0.001; NNT = 8.3), improved wound healing (76.8 vs. 59.7 %; pooled RR = 1.29, 95 % CI = 1.02-1.62, p = 0.04; NNT = 5.9), and better overall event-free survival (72.2 vs. 57.3 %; pooled RR = 1.26, 95 % CI = 1.10-1.44, p = 0.0006; NNT = 6.7).


DES for focal infrapopliteal lesions significantly inhibit vascular restenosis and thereby improve primary patency, decrease repeat procedures, improve wound healing, and prolong overall event-free survival.

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