JOURNAL ARTICLE

Defining utility and predicting outcome of cadaveric lower extremity bypass grafts in patients with critical limb ischemia

Catherine K Chang, Salvatore T Scali, Robert J Feezor, Adam W Beck, Alyson L Waterman, Thomas S Huber, Scott A Berceli
Journal of Vascular Surgery 2014, 60 (6): 1554-64
25043889

OBJECTIVE: Despite poor long-term patency, acceptable limb salvage has been reported with cryopreserved saphenous vein bypass (CVB) for various indications. However, utility of CVB in patients with critical limb ischemia (CLI) remains undefined. The purpose of this analysis was to determine the role of CVB in CLI patients and to identify predictors of successful outcomes.

METHODS: A retrospective review of all lower extremity bypass (LEB) procedures at a single institution was completed, and CVB in CLI patients were further analyzed. The primary end point was amputation-free survival. Secondary end points included primary patency and limb salvage. Life tables were used to estimate occurrence of end points. Cox regression analysis was used to determine predictors of limb salvage.

RESULTS: From 2000 to 2012, 1059 patients underwent LEB for various indications, of whom 81 received CVB for either ischemic rest pain or tissue loss. Mean age (± standard deviation) was 66 ± 10 years (male, 51%; diabetes, 51%; hemodialysis dependence, 12%), and 73% (n = 59) had history of failed ipsilateral LEB or endovascular intervention. None had sufficient autogenous conduit for even composite vein bypass. Infrainguinal CVB (infrapopliteal target, 96%; n = 78) was completed for multiple indications including Rutherford class 4 (42%; n = 34), class 5 (40%; n = 32), and class 6 (18%; n = 15). Eleven (14%) had CLI and concomitant graft infection (n = 8) or acute on chronic ischemia (n = 3). Intraoperative adjuncts (eg, profundaplasty, suprainguinal stent or bypass) were completed in 49% (n = 40) of cases. Complications occurred in 36% (n = 29), with 30-day mortality of 4% (n = 3). Median follow-up for CLI patients was 11.8 (interquartile range, 0.4-28.4) months with corresponding 1- and 3-year actuarial estimated survival (± standard error mean) of 84% ± 4% and 62% ± 6%. Primary patency of CVB for CLI was 27% ± 6% and 17% ± 6% at 1 and 3 years, respectively. Amputation-free survival was 43% ± 6% and 23% ± 6% at 1 and 3 years, respectively, and significantly higher for rest pain (59% ± 9%, 36% ± 10%) compared with tissue loss (31% ± 7%, 14% ± 7%; log-rank, P = .04). Freedom from major amputation after CVB for CLI was 57% ± 6% and 43% ± 7% at 1 and 3 years. Multivariable predictors of limb salvage for the CVB CLI cohort included postoperative warfarin (hazard ratio [HR], 0.4; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.2-0.8), dyslipidemia (HR, 0.4; 95% CI, 0.2-0.9), and rest pain (HR, 0.4; 95% CI, 0.2-0.9). Predictors of major amputation included graft infection (HR, 3.1; 95% CI, 1.1-9.0).

CONCLUSIONS: In CLI patients with no autologous conduit and prior failed infrainguinal bypass, CVB outcomes are disappointing. CVB performs best in patients with rest pain, particularly those who can be anticoagulated with warfarin. However, it may be an acceptable option in patients with minor tissue loss or concurrent graft infection, but consideration should be weighed against the known natural history of nonrevascularized CLI and nonbiologic conduit alternatives, given potential cost implications.

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