Critical Limb Ischemia: Endovascular Strategies for Limb Salvage

Philip B. Dattilo, Ivan P. Casserly

Critical limb ischemia (CLI) represents the most severe clinical manifestation of peripheral arterial disease, defined as the presence of chronic ischemic rest pain, ulcers, or gangrene attributable to objectively proven arterial occlusive disease. The dominant pathology underlying CLI is atherosclerosis, distributed at multiple levels along the length of the lower extremity and with a propensity for involvement of the tibial vessels in the leg and the small vessels of the foot. To achieve limb salvage in patients with CLI, revascularization of the affected limb is generally required. In contemporary practice, endovascular techniques are rapidly replacing surgical bypass as the first option for revascularization for CLI based on high technical success rates and low rates of procedure-related morbidity and mortality. This review will describe the clinical strategy of the authors who have adopted an endovascular-first approach to revascularization in treating patients with CLI and summarize the clinical outcomes of endovascular therapy in this population.

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