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Circulation. 2013 Aug 6;128(6):615-21.

Drug-eluting balloon in peripheral intervention for below the knee angioplasty evaluation (DEBATE-BTK): a randomized trial in diabetic patients with critical limb ischemia.

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Cardiovascular and Neurological Department, San Donato Hospital, Via Pietro Nenni 20, 52100, Arezzo, Italy.



The 1-year restenosis rate after balloon angioplasty of long lesions in below-the-knee arteries may be as high as 70%. Our aim was to investigate the efficacy of a paclitaxel drug-eluting balloons versus conventional percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) for the reduction of restenosis in diabetic patients with critical limb ischemia undergoing endovascular intervention of below-the-knee arteries.


The Drug-Eluting Balloon in Peripheral Intervention for below the knee angioplasty evaluation (DEBATE-BTK) is a randomized, open-label, single-center study comparing drug-eluting balloons and PTA. Inclusion criteria were diabetes mellitus, critical limb ischemia (Rutherford class 4 or higher), significant stenosis or occlusion >40 mm of at least 1 below-the-knee vessel with distal runoff, and life expectancy >1 year. Binary in-segment restenosis at a 1-year angiographic or ultrasonographic follow-up was the primary end point. Clinically driven target lesion revascularization, major amputation, and target vessel occlusion were the secondary end points. One hundred thirty-two patients with 158 infrapopliteal atherosclerotic lesions were enrolled. Mean length of the treated segments was 129±83 mm in the drug-eluting balloon group compared with 131±79 mm in the PTA group (P=0.7). Binary restenosis, assessed by angiography in >90% of patients, occurred in 20 of 74 lesions (27%) in the drug-eluting balloon group compared with 55 of 74 lesions (74%) in the PTA group (P<0.001); target lesion revascularization, in 12 (18%) versus 29 (43%; P=0.002); and target vessel occlusion, in 12 (17%) versus 41 (55%; P<0.001). Only 1 major amputation occurred, in the PTA group (P=0.9).


Drug-eluting balloons compared with PTA strikingly reduce 1-year restenosis, target lesion revascularization, and target vessel occlusion in the treatment of below-the-knee lesions in diabetic patients with critical limb ischemia.


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