Recent small single-center data indicate that the current hemodynamic parameters used to diagnose critical limb ischemia are insensitive. We investigated the validity of the societal guidelines-recommended hemodynamic parameters against core laboratory-adjudicated angiographic data from the multicenter IN.PACT DEEP (RandomIzed AmPhirion DEEP DEB vs StAndard PTA for the treatment of below the knee Critical limb ischemia) Trial.Methods:
Of the 358 patients in the IN.PACT DEEP Trial to assess drug-eluting balloon vs standard balloon angioplasty for infrapopliteal disease, 237 had isolated infrapopliteal disease with an available ankle-brachial index (ABI), and only 40 of the latter had available toe pressure measurements. The associations between ABI, ankle pressure, and toe pressure with tibial runoff, Rutherford category, and plantar arch were examined according to the cutoff points recommended by the societal guidelines. Abnormal tibial runoff was defined as severely stenotic (≥70%) or occluded and scored as one-, two-, or three-vessel disease. A stenotic or occluded plantar arch was considered abnormal.Results:
Only 14 of 237 patients (6%) had an ABI <0.4. Abnormal ankle pressure, defined as <50 mm Hg if Rutherford category 4 and <70 mm Hg if Rutherford category 5 or 6, was found only in 37 patients (16%). Abnormal toe pressure, defined as <30 mm Hg if Rutherford category 4 and <50 mm Hg if Rutherford category 5 or 6, was found in 24 of 40 patients (60%) with available measurements. Importantly, 29% of these 24 patients had an ABI within normal reference ranges. A univariate multinomial logistic regression found no association between the above hemodynamic parameters and the number of diseased infrapopliteal vessels. However, there was a significant paradoxic association where patients with Rutherford category 6 had higher ABI and ankle pressure than those with Rutherford category 5. Similarly, there was no association between ABI and pedal arch patency.Conclusions:
The current recommended hemodynamic parameters fail to identify a significant portion of patients with lower extremity ulcers and angiographically proven severe disease. Toe pressure has better sensitivity and should be considered in all patients with critical limb ischemia.