Lower extremity limb salvage with cryoplasty: a single-center cohort study

Vascular. 2012 Feb;20(1):36-41. doi: 10.1258/vasc.2011.oa0309. Epub 2012 Feb 10.


Endovascular techniques have been playing an increasing role in managing lower extremity chronic critical limb ischemia (CLI) in patients considered poor or non-candidates for surgical revascularization secondary to co-morbidities such as coronary artery disease, uncontrolled hypertension, diabetes mellitus or inadequate conduit. This study reviews our recent clinical experience in the treatment of peripheral artery disease solely using cryoplasty. A retrospective cohort study was performed. The cohort consisted of 88 patients who underwent lower extremity revascularization utilizing cryoplasty between December 2003 and August 2007. Indications for intervention included poor wound healing after forefoot amputation or persistent ulceration of the foot, disabling claudication and rest pain. Kaplan-Meier analysis was performed to assess salvage rates. One hundred twenty-six lesions were treated in 88 patients. Technical success rate was 97%. Limb salvage rates were 75 and 63% for patients with critical limbs ischemia after one and three years, respectively. A history of smoking was associated with a threefold increased risk of limb loss. In conclusion, endovascular management of lower extremity lesions with cryoplasty is an emerging and viable paradigm in the treatment of CLI in an attempt to preserve limbs and avoid major amputations.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Amputation
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Connecticut
  • Cryosurgery* / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ischemia / etiology
  • Ischemia / surgery*
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Limb Salvage*
  • Lower Extremity / blood supply*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Selection
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease / complications
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome