Background: Patients with critical limb ischemia (CLI) have multiple comorbidities and limited life spans. The ability of infrainguinal vein bypass to improve quality of life (QoL) in patients with CLI has therefore been questioned. Prospective preoperative and postoperative QoL data for patients undergoing lower extremity vein bypass for CLI are presented. Methods: A validated, disease-specific QoL questionnaire (VascuQoL) with activity, symptom, pain, emotional, and social domains and responses scored 1 (lowest QoL) to 7 (best QoL) was administered before surgery and at 3 and 12 months after lower extremity vein bypass for CLI. Changes in QoL at 3 and 12 months after lower extremity vein bypass and multiple predetermined variables potentially influencing QoL after lower extremity vein bypass were analyzed to determine the effect of lower extremity vein bypass on QoL in CLI patients. Results: A total of 1404 patients had lower extremity vein bypass for CLI at 83 centers in the United States and Canada as part of the PREVENT III clinical trial. Surveys were completed in 1296 patients at baseline, 862 patients at 3 months, and 732 patients at 12 months. The global QoL score (mean ± SD) was 2.8 ± 1.1 at baseline and was 4.7 ± 1.4 and 5.1 ± 1.4 at 3 and 12 months, respectively. Mean changes from baseline at 3 and 12 months were statistically significant (P < .0001). Improved QoL scores extended across all domains. Diabetes and the development of graft-related events were associated with decreased improvement in QoL scores, though the mean relative change from baseline remained positive. Conclusions: Patients with CLI have a low QoL at baseline that is improved at 3 and 12 months after lower extremity vein bypass. QoL improvements are lower in diabetic patients and those who develop graft-related events. Successful revascularization can be expected to improve QoL in patients with CLI, with benefits that are sustained to at least 1 year.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine