Send to

Choose Destination
J Vasc Surg. 1996 Oct;24(4):513-21; discussion 521-3.

Surgical revascularization versus thrombolysis for nonembolic lower extremity native artery occlusions: results of a prospective randomized trial. The STILE Investigators. Surgery versus Thrombolysis for Ischemia of the Lower Extremity.

Author information

Division of Vascular Surgery, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles 90033-4612, USA.



Early results of a prospective study that compared surgical revascularization and thrombolysis for lower extremity arterial and graft occlusions have been published. This report details the final results in patients who have native artery occlusions.


Two hundred thirty-seven patients who had lower extremity ischemia as a result of iliac-common femoral (IF; 69 patients) or superficial femoral-popliteal (FP; 168 patients) occlusion, and had symptomatically deteriorated within the past 6 months were randomized to catheter-directed thrombolysis (150 patients) or surgical revascularization (87 patients). After diagnostic arteriographic examination but before randomization, the optimal surgical procedure was determined. Lytic patients were randomized to recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA; 84 patients) or urokinase (UK; 66 patients). Recurrent ischemia, morbidity, amputation, and death rates were determined at 30 days, 6 months, and 1 year, and were analyzed on an intent-to-treat basis.


For patients randomized to lysis, a catheter was properly positioned and the lytic agent delivered in 78%. This provided a reduction in the predetermined surgical procedure in 58% of patients who had an FP occlusion and 51% of those who had an IF occlusion. rt-PA and UK were equally effective and safe, but lysis time was shorter with rt-PA (8 vs 24 hr; p < 0.05). At 1 year, the incidence of recurrent ischemia (64% vs 35%; p < 0.0001) and major amputation (10% vs 0%; p = 0.0024) was increased in patients who were randomized to lysis. Factors associated with a poor lytic outcome included FP occlusion, diabetes, and critical ischemia. No differences in mortality rates were observed at 1 year between the lysis and surgical groups.


Surgical revascularization for lower extremity native artery occlusions is more effective and durable than thrombolysis. Thrombolysis used initially provides a reduction in the surgical procedure for a majority of patients; however, long-term outcome is inferior, particularly for patients who have an FP occlusion, diabetes, or critical ischemia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center