Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of peripheral angioplasty (PTA) in the treatment of diabetic patients with previous peripheral bypass graft and recurrent critical limb ischemia (CLI).
Methods: Between January and December 2006, 293 diabetic patients presenting with critical limb ischemia (CLI) according to the TASC 2000 criteria were admitted to our footcare centre. Among these patients, 32 of them had previously undergone bypass grafting: femoropopliteal in 26 patients, femoroposterior tibial in 3 patients, femoroperoneal in the remaining 3. All these patients underwent angiography and, whenever possible, a concomitant PTA procedure.
Results: Six patients presented with stenosis at the distal anastomosis, 2 with stenosis at the proximal anastomosis and in 5 patients both the distal and proximal anastomosis were stenosed. In 12 patients the graft was completely occluded. In 7 patients the graft appeared patent but all the infrapopliteal arteries were occluded. The average time interval between bypass and subsequent hospital admission because of CLI was 6.3+/-4.2 months for patients with patent grafts and 20.5+/-12.0 months for those with failing grafts (p=0.004). A successful PTA was performed in 25 patients (78.1%). In all patients with patent grafts, PTA recanalized one infrapopliteal artery. Recanalization of the graft was obtained in all 13 patients with non-occluded graft. Recanalization of superficial femoral artery occlusion by means of PTA was obtained in 5 out of the 12 patients in whom the graft was completely occluded. Five patients underwent major amputation within 30 days and 3 further patients during the follow-up period. Patients were followed up until December 31 2007, with a mean follow-up of 1.89+/-0.27 years. Restenosis occurred in 7 (28.0%) of the 25 patients in whom a successful PTA was performed. In 5 of these 7 patients, PTA was repeated successfully. In 2 patients in whom a further PTA was not feasible a major amputation was performed. At the end of the follow-up period the cumulative primary patency rate was 72%, the assisted patency rate was 92%.
Conclusions: PTA is an effective method for revascularizing secondary obstructions in patients with graft failure (and no possibility of a redo graft). PTA also is effective in at least one subgenicular artery in patients with diabetes with inadequate run-off after femoropopliteal bypass grafting.