Quality-of-life assessment as an outcomes measure in critical limb ischemia

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Critical limb ischemia (CLI) is a diagnosis plagued by significant comorbidity and high mortality rates. Overall survival remains poor in this population regardless of the procedure-related success as demonstrated by freedom from amputation, intervention, and patency. The literature has traditionally focused on physician-centered and lesion-centered outcomes with regards to limb salvage procedures, but there remains a relative paucity of studies of CLI patients describing patient-centered outcomes such as quality of life (QoL), independent living, and ambulation status. Review of the available literature indicates patients do not always experience significant gains in their QoL after limb salvage interventions, despite reasonable graft patency, amputation-free survival, and limb salvage rates. Further research is required using QoL tools in a measurable and clinically relevant fashion to guide optimal quality care that maximizes patient-centered outcomes.

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