Balloon angioplasty of popliteal and crural arteries in elderly with critical chronic limb ischemia

Eli Atar*, Yoel Siegel, Ram Avrahami, Gabriel Bartal, Gil N. Bachar, Alexander Belenky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Elderly patients with extensive infrainguinal peripheral vascular disease and critical chronic limb ischemia (CCLI) are poor surgical candidates. Our purpose was to evaluate angiographic and clinical results of popliteal, infrapopliteal, and multi-level disease percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) in such patients. Design: Retrospective study of angiographic and clinical files in selected group. Materials and methods: Between 1996 and 2002, 38 elderly patients aged 80-94 years old (mean age 83.3) with critical leg ischemia were treated with PTA. All patients were at high surgical risk. 31/38 (81.5%) patients had chronic non-healing wounds, and 14/38 (37%) had multi-level disease of superficial femoral, popliteal and crural arteries. One hundred and two lesions were treated by angioplasty. Immediate angiographic and 1 year clinical results were retrospectively analyzed. Results: The overall procedural success rate was 32/38 (84.2%). There were three major complications (7.9%), but no deaths, and three technical failures, all were of infrapopliteal lesions. After 1 year, 27 patients could be followed, five patients died during the first year of unrelated causes. Twenty-three patients (85.2%), were clinically re-occluded within 1 year, but complete and partial wound healing was achieved in 80% (16/20) and rest pain improvement in 57% (4/7), so that overall limb salvage was 74% (20/27). Conclusions: Elderly patients with multi-level CCLI have a short patency term following angioplasty of 14.8% after 1 year. Nevertheless, this temporary vascular patency enables wound healing or improvement in 74% of these patients, thus such endovascular interventions are recommended in this age group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-292
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2005
Externally publishedYes


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