Angioplasty and primary stenting of high-grade, long-segment superficial femoral artery disease: is it worthwhile?

Ann Vasc Surg. 2003 Jul;17(4):430-7. doi: 10.1007/s10016-003-0028-8.


The purpose of this study was to determine the long-term results and efficacy of angioplasty and stenting of long-segment, high-grade superficial femoral artery disease. Seventy-three consecutive primary balloon angioplasty procedures with immediate stenting in 70 patients with SVS/ISCVS grade B2 or C superficial femoral artery (SFA) disease exceeding 5 cm in length were evaluated. The mean lesion length was 16 cm and occlusion constituted 62%, with a runoff score of 8. Forty-nine procedures (67%) were performed for critical ischemia. A total of 135 stents were placed. Follow-up was with 3-month duplex ultrasound; stenosis >50% was considered the end point for failure. Mean follow-up time was 26 months. Initial technical success with intent to treat was 90%. Initial success according to anatomic, hemodynamic, and clinical criteria was 90%, 88%, and 88%, respectively, with intent to treat. Limb salvage in the critical ischemia group was 71%. Overall cumulative primary patency rates at 12, 24, and 48 months were 56%, 35%, and 22%, and secondary patency rates were 69%, 47%, and 37%, respectively. A stented segment length >10 cm and procedure in claudicants incurred an inferior patency rate. Treatment of high-grade SFA lesions with angioplasty and primary setting results in lower long-term patency rate than those with surgery, but combined with secondary interventions this treatment option may be an acceptable alternative in selected patients with critical ischemia. Femoropopliteal bypass remains the procedure of choice.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Angioplasty, Balloon*
  • Arterial Occlusive Diseases / therapy*
  • Female
  • Femoral Artery*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Intermittent Claudication / therapy
  • Ischemia / therapy
  • Leg / blood supply
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Stents*
  • Time Factors
  • Vascular Patency