Infrapopliteal angioplasty with a long over-the-wire (OTW) balloon in the treatment of severe limb ischemia in diabetic patients: a retrospective study

Acta Radiol. 2009 May;50(4):360-7. doi: 10.1080/02841850902801239.


Background: The use of short balloons in the treatment of infrapopliteal arterial occlusive disease in diabetic patients often has a poor clinical outcome.

Purpose: To retrospectively evaluate the safety and efficacy of a long over-the-wire (OTW) balloon as a primary percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) treatment for diabetic infrapopliteal severe limb ischemia.

Material and methods: Infrapopliteal PTA with a long OTW balloon was performed between April 2007 and March 2008 in 34 patients (53 limbs), including a total of 119 lesions. Patient age was 71.8+/-7.4 years. All patients had limb ischemic symptoms. Angiography was retrospectively analyzed, and every lesion categorized and classified according to its length and severity. The mean follow-up period was 7.4+/-2.6 months. Lower-limb magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) was performed every 3 months during follow-up, and clinical data were collected.

Results: Altogether, 92% of patients were successfully treated. Ankle-brachial index (ABI) and transcutaneous oxygen tension (TcPO2) improved from 0.50+/-0.18 and 18.85+/-12.08 mmHg, respectively, before the procedure to 0.81+/-0.12 and 39.85+/-12.67 mmHg, respectively, after the procedure. At the end of follow-up, 29 patients had maintained a stable outcome. Five patients had symptom recurrence, and three of them underwent a second PTA. Two major amputations and four minor amputations were performed, with a 94% limb salvage rate and 59% patency rate.

Conclusion: Infrapopliteal PTA with a long OTW balloon was feasible, with encouraging midterm outcome, in the treatment of severe limb ischemia in diabetic patients in this single-center case series. Further research is warranted to evaluate long-term outcome.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Angiography
  • Angioplasty, Balloon*
  • Catheterization*
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / diagnostic imaging
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ischemia / diagnostic imaging
  • Ischemia / therapy*
  • Leg / blood supply*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Recurrence