Background: The efficacy of drug-coated balloons (DCBs) in critical limb ischemia (CLI) is unclear. To investigate the clinical characteristics and outcomes of DCBs in symptomatic femoropopliteal disease between patients with intermittent claudication (IC) and CLI.
Methods: Data were retrospectively collected from three centers in Taiwan on patients who received DCBs for femoropopliteal lesions between March 2013 and June 2017. We compared the clinical characteristics and outcomes regarding binary restenosis, amputation-free survival (AFS), and major adverse limb events (MALEs) between groups. Cox proportional hazards analysis was used to identify predictors of outcome endpoints.
Results: We enrolled a total of 200 affected limbs in 174 patients, including 83 limbs in 71 patients with IC and 117 limbs in 103 patients with CLI. Compared to the patients with claudication, those with CLI were older and had higher proportions of medical comorbidities, tissue inflammation, poor runoff, and vessel calcification. The 3-year rates of freedom from binary restenosis (57% vs. 59%, p = 0.781), and MALEs (77% vs. 67%, p = 0.507) were similar between the two groups. However, the 3-year AFS was significantly higher in the IC group compared to the CLI group (91% vs. 73%, p = 0.001). Lesion length and severe calcification independently predicted binary restenosis, and restenotic lesion predicted MALEs. Age, congestive heart failure, and dialysis were independently associated with AFS.
Conclusions: Despite advanced limb ischemia and comorbidities, the mid-term outcomes in surviving CLI patients were similar to those in the IC patients after treatment with DCBs for femoropopliteal disease.
Keywords: Amputation-free survival; Binary restenosis; Critical limb ischemia; Drug-coated balloon; Major adverse limb event.
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