Clinical failure after percutaneous transluminal angioplasty of the superficial femoral and popliteal arteries

Laura A. Karch, Mark A. Mattos, John P. Henretta, Robert B. McLafferty, Don E. Ramsey, Kim J. Hodgson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Objective: Anatomic patency after percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) of the superficial femoral and popliteal arteries does not guarantee clinical success. The aim of this report is to determine the causes of clinical failure after PTA. Methods: The records of all patients who have undergone PTA of the femoropopliteal arterial segment by our vascular group were retrospectively reviewed. Only patients with complete records and at least one postprocedure clinical and anatomic assessment within the same 30- day time interval were included. Success was defined according to the Society for Vascular Surgery/International Society for Cardiovascular Surgery Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Reporting Standards for Endovascular Procedures. Anatomic cumulative patency and clinical success were calculated according to life table analysis on an intent-to-treat basis. Results: We identified 85 patients who met inclusion criteria. We treated 112 lesions with an average stenosis of 80% ± 16% and lesion length of 2.3 ± 1.8 cm. Technical failure occurred in six (5.4%) of 112 lesions. Cumulative clinical success was 69% at 1 year, 54% at 2 years, 49% at 3 years, and 40% at 4 years. Anatomic patency was 74% at 1 year, 62% at 2 years, 57% at 3 years, and 52% at 4 years. There were 45 clinical failures; of these, twenty-seven (60%) occurred in conjunction with anatomic failure. Anatomic failure was due to restenosis in 12 patients (44%), occlusion in eight patients (30%), and restenosis with progression of disease in six patients (22%). Anatomic failure at the time of the procedure occurred in one patient (4%). Clinical failure occurred despite anatomic patency in the remaining 18 patients (40%). Etiology for clinical failure in this latter group included progression of disease within the treated vessel in 12 patients (67%), iliac disease in three patients (17%), tibial disease in two patients (11%), and bypass graft failure in one patient (5%). Fifty percent of all 45 clinical failures were successfully treated with supplemental percutaneous procedures. Conclusion: A PTA is an acceptable therapeutic option for the treatment of focal occlusive disease of the femoropopliteal arterial segment. Most clinical failures were due to anatomic failure, but a significant number occurred despite patency at the PTA site. Although primary clinical success rates were inferior to surgical bypass graft, supplemental PTA was possible in 50% of patients. Repeat percutaneous treatment may extend the interval of clinical success and may obviate the need for surgical bypass graft.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)880-888
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of vascular surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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