Background: Popliteal artery stenting is not routinely performed due to concerns related to the high mobility of the knee joint and the potential for external stent compression, fractures, and occlusion. Open bypass is traditionally considered the gold standard for popliteal artery atherosclerotic lesions. The Supera stent (IDEV Technologies Inc, Webster, Tex) was developed to provide superior radial strength, fracture resistance, and flexibility compared with laser-cut nitinol stents. This study represents the initial United States experience in the management of popliteal artery atherosclerotic disease with the Supera interwoven wire stent.
Methods: Patients undergoing stent implantation in the 20-month period after the 2008 Food and Drug Administration clearance were included. Medical records, radiographic imaging, and procedural data were examined. Procedural angiograms were classified according to Trans-Atlantic Inter-Society Consensus criteria. Patency and limb loss rates were calculated using Kaplan-Meier analysis.
Results: A total of 39 stents were placed in 34 patients due to isolated popliteal artery occlusive disease. Clinical follow-up was a mean of 12.7 months (range, 0.2-33.7 months), and radiologic follow-up was a mean of 8.4 months (range, 0-26.8 months). Most patients had critical limb ischemia (CLI), with tissue loss (38.2%) or rest pain (35.3%) as the indication for intervention. In 20 patients (58.8%), the most distal end of the stent(s) landed in the below-the-knee popliteal segment, 12 (35.3%) landed in the above-the-knee segment, and two (5.9%) landed precisely at the knee. Other than angioplasty and stenting, 47% of patients did not receive any adjuvant concomitant therapy in the treated leg. Two patients underwent concomitant atherectomy of the popliteal segment. Primary, primary assisted, and secondary patency rates by duplex ultrasound imaging were 79.2%, 88.1% and 93%, respectively, by Kaplan-Meier estimates, with a mean stented length of 12 cm. Six instances of stent occlusion were noted, and six patients were identified with hemodynamically significant in-stent stenosis. Three patients sustained limb loss (8.8%), two related to uncontrolled infections, and one due to perioperative ischemic complications (both with patent stents at the time of limb loss). The overall mortality was 8.8% during the study period. Knee roentgenography was performed in all but one patient, and no stent fractures were identified.
Conclusions: Stenting of the popliteal artery using the Supera stent system appears to be safe and effective. The interwoven stent design may better serve areas under extreme mechanical stress. Our results with this highly diseased patient population justify a prospective trial in this subject.
Copyright © 2013 Society for Vascular Surgery. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.