Cumulative Number of Treatment Interventions Predicts Health-Related Quality of Life in Patients with Critical Limb Ischemia

Ann Vasc Surg. 2017 Oct:44:41-47. doi: 10.1016/j.avsg.2017.01.029. Epub 2017 May 5.


Background: Health-related quality of life (QOL) is usually assessed after a defined interval following a single intervention, but critical limb ischemia (CLI) is a chronic condition where multiple interventions are often required over a patient's lifetime. We hypothesized that the impact of CLI treatment interventions on QOL is diminished in the setting of multiple previous interventions. To test this hypothesis, we performed a cross-sectional study evaluating associations between cumulative number of previous peripheral artery disease (PAD) treatment interventions and QOL adjusting for both comorbidity and disease severity.

Methods: Participants with CLI (abnormal ankle brachial index [ABI] plus rest pain and/or tissue loss) were enrolled in a cross-sectional study and completed a disease-specific QOL assessment, (the Vascular Quality of Life Questionnaire-6 [VascuQol-6]). Minimum ABI was used to assess disease severity, and comorbidity was evaluated based on Charlson Comorbidity Index. Cumulative number of PAD treatment interventions was defined based on the lifelong total for both legs. QOL associations were evaluated using a multivariable linear regression model adjusted for age and gender.

Results: Thirty-two patients with CLI participated. Mean age was 63 ± 10 years, 72% were men, and 63% were white; mean ABI was 0.6 ± 0.2. Mean VQ-6 score was 11.6 ± 4.2, and QOL was lower in patients with more previous interventions. Multivariable models demonstrated that an increasing number of previous treatment interventions negatively impacted QOL (P = 0.047), whereas positive associations were identified for female gender (P = 0.006) and ABI (P = 0.006). No association between comorbidity and QOL was identified.

Conclusions: Vascular-specific factors appear to be key determinants of QOL among patients with CLI, whereas comorbidity appears less important. Strategies focused on definitive and durable revascularization may reduce cumulative interventions and potentially maximize QOL for patients with CLI.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Amputation, Surgical
  • Ankle Brachial Index
  • Comorbidity
  • Critical Illness
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Endovascular Procedures* / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ischemia / diagnosis
  • Ischemia / physiopathology
  • Ischemia / psychology
  • Ischemia / therapy*
  • Limb Salvage
  • Linear Models
  • Lower Extremity / blood supply*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease / diagnosis
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease / physiopathology
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease / psychology
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease / therapy*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Quality of Life*
  • Retreatment
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vascular Surgical Procedures* / adverse effects