Evaluation of Clinical Outcomes Following Minor Amputations in Australia - An Important Consideration for Timing of Revascularisation

Ann Vasc Surg. 2021 Oct:76:389-398. doi: 10.1016/j.avsg.2021.03.050. Epub 2021 Apr 24.


Background: Vascular patients with tissue loss requiring minor amputations could be an early sign of a terminal event. The long-term outcomes and timing of revascularisation for these patients are not well-studied. The aim of this study was to determine the clinical outcomes following minor amputations. Primary outcomes were functional status, limb loss, and mortality. Secondary outcomes compared immediate and delayed revascularisation.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of 200 vascular patients who required minor amputations at Austin Hospital, Melbourne was performed over 5 years. Demographics, details of revascularisation, functional status, and clinical outcomes such as recurrent tissue loss, limb loss and death were recorded.

Results: Of the entire cohort requiring minor amputations, 118 (59%) patients underwent revascularisation. 111 (94%) revascularisation procedures were performed within 90 days of minor amputation. Over all 5-year limb preservation was 89.9%. Patients who required revascularisation were not statistically significantly more at risk for limb loss at 5 years [13.6% vs. 6.6%; P=0.08]. Limb salvage at 1 year was not different between groups revascularized before and after amputation [89.5% vs. 90.9%; P=0.70]. Over all 5-year mortality rate was 50%. In the diabetic subset, those who had revascularisation after minor amputation had a greater 5-year mortality [67.9% vs. 50%; P=0.03]. A scoring system based on risk factors was developed but was not reliable based on the study data.

Conclusions: The data from this study suggest that patients with diabetes who undergo revascularisation after minor amputation have worse outcomes than those revascularised prior to minor amputation. A predictive model applied at presentation could help detect high-risk patients but requires further work.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Amputation, Surgical* / adverse effects
  • Amputation, Surgical* / mortality
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / diagnosis
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / mortality
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / surgery*
  • Female
  • Functional Status
  • Humans
  • Limb Salvage
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease / diagnosis
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease / mortality
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vascular Surgical Procedures* / adverse effects
  • Vascular Surgical Procedures* / mortality
  • Victoria