Angiosome-targeted infrapopliteal endovascular revascularization for treatment of diabetic foot ulcers

Maria Söderström, Anders Albäck, Fausto Biancari, Kimmo Lappalainen, Mauri Lepäntalo, Maarit Venermo
Journal of Vascular Surgery 2013, 57 (2): 427-35

OBJECTIVE: Because of the prolonged healing time of diabetic foot ulcers, methods for identifying ways to expedite the ulcer healing process are needed. The angiosome concept delineates the body into three-dimensional blocks of tissue fed by specific source arteries. The aim of this study was to evaluate the benefit of infrapopliteal endovascular revascularization guided by an angiosome model of perfusion in the healing process of diabetic foot ulcers.

METHODS: A total of 250 consecutive legs with diabetic foot ulcers in 226 patients who had undergone infrapopliteal endovascular revascularization in a single center were evaluated. Patient records and periprocedural leg angiograms were reviewed. The legs were divided into two groups depending on whether direct arterial flow to the site of the foot ulcer based on the angiosome concept was achieved (direct group) or not achieved (indirect group). Ulcer healing time was compared between the two groups. A propensity score was used for adjustment of differences in pretreatment covariables in multivariate analysis and for 1:1 matching.

RESULTS: Direct flow to the angiosome feeding the ulcer area was achieved in 121 legs (48%) compared with indirect revascularization in 129 legs. Foot ulcers treated with angiosome-targeted infrapopliteal percutaneous transluminal angioplasty healed better. The ulcer healing rate was mean (standard deviation) 72% (5%) at 12 months for the direct group compared with 45% (6%) for the indirect group (P < .001). When adjusted for propensity score, the direct group still had a significantly better ulcer healing rate than the indirect group (hazard ratio, 1.97; 95% confidence interval, 1.34-2.90; P = .001).

CONCLUSIONS: Attaining a direct arterial flow based on the angiosome model of perfusion to the foot ulcer appears to be important for ulcer healing in diabetic patients.

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