Background: Endovascular therapy is a rapidly expanding option for the treatment of patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD), leading to a myriad of published studies reporting on various revascularization strategies. However, these reports are often difficult to interpret and compare because they do not utilize uniform clinical endpoint definitions. Moreover, few of these studies describe clinical outcomes from a patients' perspective.
Methods and results: The DEFINE Group is a collaborative effort of an ad-hoc multidisciplinary team from various specialties involved in peripheral arterial disease therapy in Europe and the United States. DEFINE's goal was to arrive at a broad based consensus for baseline and endpoint definitions in peripheral endovascular revascularization trials for chronic lower limb ischemia. In this project, which started in 2006, the individual team members reviewed the existing pertinent literature. Following this, a series of telephone conferences and face-to-face meetings were held to agree upon definitions. Input was also obtained from regulatory (United States Food and Drug Administration) and industry (device manufacturers with an interest in peripheral endovascular revascularization) stakeholders, respectively. The efforts resulted in the current document containing proposed baseline and endpoint definitions in chronic lower limb PAD. Although the consensus has inevitably included certain arbitrary choices and compromises, adherence to these proposed standard definitions would provide consistency across future trials, thereby facilitating evaluation of clinical effectiveness and safety of various endovascular revascularization techniques.
Conclusion: This current document is based on a broad based consensus involving relevant stakeholders from the medical community, industry and regulatory bodies. It is proposed that the consensus document may have value for study design of future clinical trials in chronic lower limb ischemia as well as for regulatory purposes.