Acute Limb Ischemia in Pediatric Intensive Care Units

Daniel Silverberg*, Haitam Hater, Omar Ismail, Gili Kenet, Moshe Halak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: To determine the outcome of children treated for acute limb ischemia (ALI) in pediatric intensive care units (ICUs). Methods: A single-center, retrospective cohort study including all patients diagnosed with ALI between 2005 and 2022 in 2 different pediatric ICUs: respiratory and cardiac ICU. Data collected included patients demographics and comorbidities, location and cause of arterial occlusion, and type and duration of therapy. Primary end point was freedom from amputation. Secondary end point was all-cause mortality. Results: A total of 78 patients (58% male) with ALI were included in the study. Median age was 3.8 months (range 0.03–201). The lower extremity was involved in 55 (70%) patients. The limb ischemia was caused by arterial instrumentation in 94% of the patients. Anticoagulation was administered as the first-line therapy in all patients. Unfractionated heparin was administered for a median duration of 5 days (range 1–48). Low molecular weight heparin was continued for a median period of 28 days (range 4–420). Thrombolytic therapy was administered in 5 patients and 2 required surgical revascularization, all for failure of anticoagulation therapy. Mean follow-up was 21 months (range 1–188 months). None of the patients required major upper or lower extremity amputations during or after the index admission. Overall survival at 30 months was 68%. The causes of mortalities were unrelated to the limb ischemia. Conclusions: This large, single-center study demonstrates that ALI in the pediatric ICU population can be treated conservatively and is associated with a low amputation rate following nonoperative management. The favorable outcome exists regardless of the etiology of the ALI and underlying diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-70
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Vascular Surgery
StatePublished - May 2023
Externally publishedYes


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