Readmissions After Revascularization Procedures for Peripheral Arterial Disease: A Nationwide Cohort Study

Ann Intern Med. 2018 Jan 16;168(2):93-99. doi: 10.7326/M17-1058. Epub 2017 Dec 5.


Background: Limited data suggest high rates of unplanned rehospitalization after endovascular and surgical revascularization for peripheral arterial disease. However, the overall burden of readmissions has not been comprehensively explored.

Objective: To evaluate nationwide readmissions after peripheral arterial revascularization for peripheral arterial disease and to assess whether readmission risk varies among hospitals.

Design: Retrospective cohort study.

Setting: 1085 U.S. acute care hospitals participating in the Nationwide Readmissions Database.

Patients: 61 969 unweighted hospitalizations of patients with peripheral arterial disease who had peripheral arterial revascularization and were discharged alive between 1 January and 30 November 2014.

Measurements: 30-day readmission rates, causes, and costs of unplanned rehospitalizations after peripheral arterial revascularization; 30-day risk-standardized readmission rates (RSRRs), calculated using hierarchical logistic regression, to assess for heterogeneity of readmission risk between hospitals.

Results: Among 61 969 hospitalizations of patients with peripheral arterial disease who were discharged alive after peripheral arterial revascularization, the 30-day nonelective readmission rate was 17.6%. The most common cause of readmission was procedural complications (28.0%), followed by sepsis (8.3%) and complications due to diabetes mellitus (7.5%). Among rehospitalized patients, 21.0% underwent a subsequent peripheral arterial revascularization or lower extremity amputation, 4.6% died, and the median cost of a readmission was $11 013. Thirty-day RSRRs varied from 10.0% to 27.3% (interquartile range, 16.6% to 18.8%).

Limitation: Inability to distinguish out-of-hospital deaths after discharge and potential misclassification bias due to use of billing codes to ascertain diagnoses and interventions.

Conclusion: More than 1 in 6 patients with peripheral arterial disease who undergo peripheral arterial revascularization have unplanned readmission within 30 days, with high associated mortality risks and costs. Procedure- and patient-related factors were the primary reasons for readmission. Readmission rates varied moderately between institutions after hospital case mix was accounted for, suggesting that differences in hospital quality may only partially account for readmission.

Primary funding source: Smith Center for Outcomes Research in Cardiology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Readmission / economics
  • Patient Readmission / statistics & numerical data*
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease / surgery*
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Vascular Surgical Procedures*