Common femoral artery endarterectomy for occlusive disease: an 8-year single-center prospective study

Surgery. 2010 Feb;147(2):268-74. doi: 10.1016/j.surg.2009.08.004. Epub 2009 Oct 13.


Background: Only a few operative or interventional studies have addressed the issue of isolated arterial occlusive disease at the femoral bifurcation, the early and late results reportedly being favorable in the former, controversial in the latter. The purpose of this study was to analyze the peri-operative (30-day) and long-term outcomes of isolated surgical endarterectomy in patients with occlusive disease at the common femoral artery (CFA), providing a baseline for comparison with emerging endovascular procedures.

Methods: Over an 8-year period, all consecutive patients referred to our institution for claudication, rest pain, nonhealing ulcer(s), or minor tissue loss, with imaging findings of CFA occlusive disease (isolated or with additional infrainguinal lesions in the ipsilateral limb) amenable to endarterectomy of the CFA (isolated or combined with a profundoplasty or with the endarterectomy of the superficial or deep femoral artery first tract, not >1 cm long) were enrolled in the study. We excluded all patients with major tissue loss for which a contemporary infrainguinal revascularization was performed because treating the inflow disease alone would not be sufficient to heal the ischemic wound(s) owing to the presence of concomitant femoral and/or distal lesions, inadequate collateralization, or poor runoff. Descriptive demographic data, risk factors, clinical manifestations, and operative details were recorded. Primary patency (PP), assisted PP (APP), and limb salvage (LS) rates, freedom from additional proximal or distal revascularization in the ipsilateral limb, and survival were assessed using Kaplan-Meier life tables. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to identify which factors could influence CFA segment patency or other parameters.

Results: In all, 117 patients were enrolled and underwent 121 CFA endarterectomies, 60.3% for claudication and 39.7% for critical limb ischemia (CLI); 30 patients were excluded because they underwent a contemporary infrainguinal revascularization. All procedures were performed with patients under regional anesthesia and took an average operating time of 1.3 +/- 0.7 hours. There were no perioperative deaths or major complications, but 8 (6.6%) local complications. A complete follow-up (mean 4.2 years) was obtained in 111 patients (115 limbs). The 7-year PP, APP, and LS rates were 96%, 100%, and 100%, respectively; the 7-year rates of freedom from further revascularization and survival were 79% and 80%, respectively.

Conclusion: Operative endarterectomy in patients with claudication or CLI for occlusive CFA disease proved safe, effective, and durable, and should provide a baseline for comparison with endovascular treatment. Proponents of endovascular procedures as a routine alternative treatment option should bear this in mind.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arterial Occlusive Diseases / complications
  • Arterial Occlusive Diseases / surgery*
  • Endarterectomy* / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Femoral Artery / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Recurrence
  • Reoperation