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Clinical outcome after extended endovascular recanalization in Buerger's disease in 20 consecutive cases.

BACKGROUND: To present our experience of extended endovascular management for thromboangiitis obliterans (Buerger's disease) patients with critical limb ischemia (CLI).

METHODS: Between January 2005 and July 2010, a consecutive series of 17 Buerger's disease patients with CLI in 20 limbs were admitted and the diagnosis confirmed. The mean age of the patients was 41.5 years (standard error: ±1.7). All patients presented with history of smoking, one patient presented with hypertension, and eight patients presented with dyslipidemia. According to Rutherford classification, all patients were found to be between grades 3 and 5. Ultrasonography first, and angiography examination later, confirmed a severe arterial disease involving almost exclusively below-the-knee and foot arteries in all cases. A new approach for revascularization, defined as extended angioplasty of each tibial and foot artery obstruction, was performed to achieve direct perfusion of at least one foot artery.

RESULTS: An extensive endovascular treatment was intended in all patients with success in 19 of 20 limbs, achieving a technical success in 95%. No mortality or complication related to the procedure was observed. During a mean follow-up of 23 months (standard error: ±4.05), amputation-free survival with no need of major amputation in any case and sustained clinical improvement was achieved in 16 of the 19 limbs (84.2%) successfully treated, resulting in a 100% limb salvage rate (19/19).

CONCLUSION: In this first experience, in patients with thromboangiitis obliterans, extended endovascular intervention was a feasible and effective revascularization procedure in case of CLI. High technical success, amputation-free survival, and sustained clinical improvement rates were achieved at midterm follow-up was achieved.

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