Meta-analysis of the clinical effectiveness of venous arterialization for salvage of critically ischaemic limbs

Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg. 2006 May;31(5):493-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ejvs.2005.12.017. Epub 2006 Feb 20.


Objective: The aim of this study is to assess the clinical effectiveness of venous arterialization in patients with critical limb ischaemia not reconstructable by conventional bypass.

Design: Meta-analysis of observational studies.

Materials: Eligible studies concerning treatment by venous arterialization for chronic critical leg ischaemia were identified from electronic database, cross-reference search and pertinent articles. There was no language restriction.

Methods: All relevant studies were systematically reviewed and data extracted by two independent reviewers. Study endpoints were foot preservation, secondary graft patency, postoperative clinical improvement and complications.

Results: A total of 56 studies were selected for comprehensive review. No RCTs were identified. Seven patient series, comprising 228 patients, matched the selection criteria. Overall 1-year foot preservation was 71% (95% CI: 64-77%) and 1-year secondary patency was 46% (95% CI: 39-53%). The large majority of patients in whom major amputation was avoided experienced successful wound healing, disappearance of rest pain and absence of serious complications.

Conclusion: On the basis of limited evidence, venous arterialization may be considered as a viable alternative before major amputation is undertaken in patients with 'inoperable' chronic critical leg ischaemia.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arteriovenous Shunt, Surgical*
  • Humans
  • Ischemia / surgery*
  • Leg / blood supply*
  • Limb Salvage*
  • Treatment Outcome