Objective: To examine wound healing and the functional natural history of patients undergoing infrainguinal bypass with reversed saphenous vein for critical limb ischemia (CLI). Methods: Consecutive patients undergoing infrainguinal bypass for CLI were retrospectively entered into a technical and functional outcomes database. The patients were enrolled from the tertiary referral vascular surgery practices at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and Southern Illinois University Medical School. Main outcome variables included wound healing, self-assessed degree of ambulation (outdoors, indoors only, or nonambulatory), and living status (community or structured) after a mean follow up of 30 ± 23 months. These outcome variables were assessed relative to the preoperative clinical characteristics (symptom duration before vascular consultation, lesion severity, and serum albumin level) and graft patency. Results: From August 1997 through December 2004, 334 patients (253 men; median age, 68 years) underwent 409 infrainguinal bypasses (157 popliteal, 235 tibial, and 17 pedal) for CLI (159 Fontaine III and 250 Fontaine IV). Perioperative mortality was 1.2%. At 1 and 3 years, respectively, the primary patency was 63% and 50%, assisted primary patency was 80% and 70%, limb salvage was 85% and 79%, and survival was 89% and 74%. Complete wound healing at 6 and 12 months was 42% and 75%, respectively. Thirty-four patients (10%) died before all wounds were healed. Multivariate analysis indicated that extensive pedal necrosis at presentation independently predicted delayed wound healing (P ≤ .01). At baseline (defined as the level of function within 30 days before the onset of CLI), 91% of patients were ambulatory outdoors, and this decreased to 72% at 6 months (P ≤ .01). Similarly, 96% of patients lived independently at baseline, and this decreased to 91% at 6 months (P ≤ .01) Graft patency was associated with better ambulatory status at 6 months. A longer duration of symptoms before vascular consultation was associated with a worse living status at 6 months. Conclusions: Despite achieving the anticipated graft patency and limb salvage results, 25% of patients did not realize wound healing at 1 year of follow-up, 19% had lost ambulatory function, and 5% had lost independent living status. Prospective natural history studies are needed to further define the functional outcomes and their predictors after infrainguinal bypass for CLI.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine