Infrainguinal Percutaneous Transluminal Angioplasty in Limbs with Severe Lower Limb Ischaemia
Abstract: Infrainguinal bypass grafting is an established method in the treatment of patients with femoropopliteal and crural occlusive disease leading to critical lower limb ischaemia (CLI). However, complications related to surgical procedure are not negligible and percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) has emerged as an alternative. The present thesis covers some aspects of infrainguinal PTA in patients with chronic severe lower limb ischaemia.The records of 217 patients undergoing 272 PTA procedures at various infrainguinal arterial segments were analysed. The indication for intervention was subcritical ischaemia in 76 limbs and critical ischaemia in 177 limbs. The role of duplex ultrasound examination in the selection of patients for PTA was retrospectively evaluated following a prospective validation of the method against angiography.A technically successful PTA was achieved in 89%. The overall 30-day mortality was 2.7%. No patient underwent amputation directly related to failed PTA. The primary success rates at 12 and 60 months following femoropopliteal PTA were 40% and 27% compared, to 51% and 36% in limbs undergoing crural artery PTA. Primary success rate in limbs with SFA occlusion longer than 5 cm was only 12% after 5 years, compared to 32% if the occlusion was equal or less than 5 cm in length (p<0.01). In patients undergoing distal PTA through patent infrainguinal grafts, the primary and primary assisted patency rates at 3 years were 32% and 53%, respectively. The sensitivity of duplex scanning in the selection of lesions for PTA was less satisfactory in the popliteal and crural arteries compared to the superficial femoral arteries.In conclusion, the results of infrainguinal PTA performed for treatment of subcritical or CLI seemed to be inferior to the results of surgical interventions reported in the literature. However, due to the fact that the PTA procedure does not preclude the performance of bypass grafting, it might be an alternative to surgical intervention in limbs with stenotic or short occlusive lesions.
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