Antegrade vs Crossover Femoral Artery Access in the Endovascular Treatment of Isolated Below-the-Knee Lesions in Patients With Critical Limb Ischemia

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Purpose: To evaluate the safety and effectiveness of antegrade vs crossover femoral artery access in the endovascular treatment of isolated below-the-knee (BTK) lesions in patients with critical limb ischemia (CLI). Methods: Between January 2014 and December 2015, 224 high-risk patients (mean age 75.8±9.8 years; 151 men) with CLI underwent infragenicular interventions on 292 crural vessels in 3 European vascular centers. All patients had isolated TransAtlantic Inter-Society Consensus (TASC) C (n=26) or D (n=198) BTK lesions. Primary endpoints were freedom from access-related complications and technical success comparing the antegrade vs crossover access groups. Results: Balloon angioplasty was the most used treatment modality (169 vessels, 75.4%). The technical success rate was 88.4% in the entire cohort and 88.0% in the antegrade group vs 90.4% in the crossover group (p>0.99). In all patients, the technical success rate was higher for stenotic lesions (100%) vs occlusions (85.5%, p=0.002) and in patients with TASC C BTK lesions (100%) vs TASC D (86.9%, p=0.033). The overall freedom from access-related complications was 97.8%: 99% in the antegrade group and 90.6% in the crossover group (p=0.022). Larger sheath size (5/6-F vs 4-F) was associated with a significantly higher risk for access-related complications (7.1% vs 1.1%, respectively; p=0.047). Conclusion: The present multicenter study showed high technical success and a low incidence of access-related complications in the treatment of isolated BTK lesions using either antegrade or crossover femoral access. The antegrade approach with the use of a 4-F system seems to have a significantly lower rate of access-related complications.

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