Purpose: To evaluate the technical and clinical outcomes of primary subintimal (SA) and endoluminal angioplasty (EA) guided by an angiosome model of revascularization in diabetic patients with critical limb ischemia (CLI) and Wagner grade 1-4 foot ulcers.
Methods: A retrospective review was undertaken of 98 diabetic CLI patients (68 men; mean age 72.8 years, range 46-94) who presented to our institution from January 2005 to January 2008 for treatment of Wagner grade 1-4 foot ulcers involving 124 limbs. Following the angiosome model of perfusion in the foot and ankle, the target arterial lesions in the 124 limbs were treated with 80 (64%) associated SA and EA procedures, 21 (17%) multilevel EAs, and 23 (18%) single SA techniques.
Results: Initial technical success was achieved in 102 (82%) interventions: 82/103 SAs and 20/21 of the EAs. The 30-day survival rate was 98% (1 fatal myocardial infarction). The cumulative rates of primary and secondary patency, limb salvage, and clinical success were: 57%+/-4%, 71%+/-4%, 91%+/-3%, and 85%+/-3% at 12 months and 48%+/-5%, 61%+/-4%, 84%+/-6%, and 73%+/-6% at 32 months, respectively. Limb salvage appeared to be negatively affected at 3 years by the presence of Wagner grade 3-4 lesions (p<0.0002), the bedridden condition of patients (p<0.0001), end-stage renal disease (p<0.0001), left ventricular dysfunction (p<0.0001), and peripheral neuropathy (p = 0.023). Using the angiosome approach, complete healing of ulcers with or without minor amputation was seen in 79% (98/124 limbs), while 62 of 70 Wagner grade 1-2 and 36 of 54 Wagner 3-4 foot lesions healed in the first 1 to 3 months after revascularization.
Conclusion: Targeted primary angioplasty following the angiosome model could be an effective therapeutic method in the ulcer healing process. However, beyond appropriate revascularization, aggressive control of concurrent risk factors in diabetic wound healing probably plays an equally relevant role.