Purpose of review: Retrograde tibiopedal access and interventions have contributed to advance of endovascular techniques to treat critical limb ischemia (CLI) patients. This review encompasses the spectrum from advanced diagnostic imaging and technical therapeutic approaches for infrapopliteal occlusions, to a discussion of current standards and future directions.
Recent findings: Contemporary studies of infrapopliteal angioplasty show suboptimal short-term and 1-year clinical outcomes. Comparative data is needed to shift the focus from PTA to disruptive treatment modalities that can further improve outcomes. Retrograde pedal access has emerged as an important tool to facilitate successfully percutaneous revascularization and limb salvage in patients with CLI. To efficiently approach the complexity of CLI, new thought processes are needed to change the reigning paradigms. Retrograde tibial-pedal access has shown improvement in the rate of successful revascularizations and is an important tool in the amputation-prevention armamentarium. Additional technologies may further improve success rates. Drug-eluting stents have shown better outcomes than PTA in patients with focal infrapopliteal lesions. Registry data have demonstrated the advantage of several atherectomy devices in the tibial arteries. More recently, bioresorbable vascular scaffolds have been used successfully, and further studies with drug-coated balloons are underway. Interventional operators are now even working in the inframalleolar space to reconstitute the plantar arch. Well-conducted studies are needed to generate high-quality evidence in the field of critical limb ischemia management.
Keywords: Critical limb ischemia; Endovascular therapy; Innovations; Retrograde tibiopedal access; Ultrasound.
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