The management of severe aortoiliac occlusive disease: Endovascular therapy rivals open reconstruction

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Aortobifemoral bypass (ABF) grafting has been the traditional treatment for extensive aortoiliac occlusive disease (AIOD). This retrospective study compared the outcomes and durability of recanalization, percutaneous transluminal angioplasty, and stenting (R/PTAS) vs ABF for severe AIOD.


Between 1998 and 2004, 86 patients (161 limbs) underwent ABF (n = 75) or iliofemoral bypass (n = 11), and 83 patients (127 limbs) underwent R/PTAS. All patients had severe symptomatic AIOD (claudication, 53%; rest pain, 28%; tissue loss, 12%; acute limb ischemia, 7%). The analyses excluded patients treated for aneurysms, extra-anatomic procedures, and endovascular treatment of iliac stenoses. Original angiographic imaging, medical records, and noninvasive testing were reviewed. Kaplan-Meier estimates for patency and survival were calculated and univariate analyses performed. Mortality was verified by the Social Security database.


The ABF patients were younger than the R/PTAS patients (60 vs 65 years;P= .003) and had higher rates of hyperlipidemia (P= .009) and smoking (P< .001). All other clinical variables, including cardiac status, diabetes, symptoms at presentation, TransAtlantic Inter-Society Consensus stratification, and presence of poor outflow were similar between the two groups. Patients underwent ABF with general anesthesia (96%), often with concomitant treatment of femoral or infrainguinal disease (61% endarterectomy, profundaplasty, or distal bypass). Technical success was universal, with marked improvement in ankle-brachial indices (0.48 to 0.84,P< .001). Patients underwent R/PTAS with local anesthesia/sedation (78%), with a 96% technical success rate and similar hemodynamic improvement (0.36 to 0.82,P< .001). At the time of R/PTAS, 21% of patients underwent femoral endarterectomy/profundaplasty or bypass (n = 5) for concomitant infrainguinal disease. Limb-based primary patency at 3 years was significantly higher for ABF than for R/PTAS (93% vs 74%,P= .002). Secondary patency rates (97% vs 95%), limb salvage (98% vs. 98%), and long-term survival (80% vs 80%) were similar. Diabetes mellitus and the requirement of distal bypass were associated with decreased patency (P< .001). Critical limb ischemia at presentation (tissue loss, hazard ratio [HR], 8.1;P< .001), poor outflow (HR, 2;P= .023), and renal failure (HR, 2.5;P= .02) were associated with decreased survival.


R/PTAS is a suitable, less invasive alternative to ABF for the treatment of severe AIOD. Repair of the concomitant femoral occlusive disease is often needed regardless of open or endovascular treatment. Infrainguinal disease negatively affects the durability of the procedure and patient survival.

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