Purpose: To assess postprocedural angiograms, the ankle-brachial index (ABI), and transcutaneous oxygen tension (TcPO₂) to predict outcome after infrageniculate angioplasty (PTA) in diabetic patients with critical limb ischemia (CLI) scheduled for amputation.
Materials and methods: PTA was performed in 28 diabetic patients with CLI confined to infrapopliteal vessels. We recorded patency of crural vessels, including the vascular supply of the foot as well as the ABI and TcPO₂ of the foot.
Results: Technical success rate was 92.9% (n = 26), and limb-salvage rate at 12 months was 60.7% (n = 17). The number of patent straight vessels above and below the level of the malleoli increased significantly in patients avoiding amputation. Amputation was unnecessary in 88.2% (n = 15) patients when patency of at least one tibial artery was achieved. In 72.7% (n = 8) of patients, patency of the peroneal artery alone was not sufficient for limb salvage. ABI was of no predictive value for limb salvage. TcPO₂ values increased significantly only in patients not requiring amputation (P = 0.015). In patients with only one tibial artery supplying the foot or only a patent peroneal artery in postprocedural angiograms, TcPO₂ was capable of reliably predicting the outcome.
Conclusion: Below-the-knee PTA as an isolated part of therapy was effective to prevent major amputation in more than a half of diabetic patients with CLI. TcPO₂ was a valid predictor for limb salvage, even when angiographic outcome criteria failed.