Arterial reconstructions for chronic lower extremity ischemia in preadolescent and adolescent children


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Abstract

Objective:Chronic lower extremity ischemia in pediatric patients is uncommon. The intent of this study was to better define the arterial reconstructive options and their long-term durability in preadolescent and adolescent children having clinically relevant arterial occlusions affecting the lower extremity.Methods:The medical records of 33 consecutive pediatric patients who underwent lower extremity revascularization for chronic ischemia at the University of Michigan from 1974 to 2016 were reviewed. Patients were categorized by age, clinical manifestation, surgical intervention undertaken, and outcomes.Results:Operative treatments involved 26 preadolescent children (mean age, 6.1 years; range, 3–9 years) and 7 adolescent children (mean age, 13.9 years; range, 10–17 years). Occlusions were due to earlier injury related to catheter (14), cannula (2), or both catheter and cannula (14); penetrating trauma (2); and vasculitis (1). Preoperative manifestations included symptomatic extremity ischemia (25), growth retardation manifested by documented limb length discrepancies (21), and scoliosis (5). Primary arterial reconstructions were delayed after the precipitating vascular event an average of 5.3 and 11.2 years in the preadolescent and adolescent children, respectively. Primary procedures involved revascularizations of 36 extremities (in preadolescents and adolescents) including autologous vein (26/5), polyethylene terephthalate (Dacron; 1/0), and expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (0/3) bypasses and vein patch angioplasty (0/1). Vein grafts traversing the abdominal cavity (15) were wrapped with a synthetic mesh. Excluding one early graft occlusion, there were no major early postoperative complications after the primary procedures. Secondary operations followed 31% of the primary operations, being performed an average of 8.8 and 6.7 years later (in 8 preadolescent and 3 adolescent children, respectively) for late graft occlusions (6), graft stenoses (3), aneurysmal vein grafts (2), and anastomotic pseudoaneurysm (1). The unassisted primary graft patency rate was 69%, and the assisted secondary graft patency rate was 94%. Symptomatic ischemia resolved in all but two children. Mean postoperative ankle-brachial indices improved to 1.08 from 0.76 preoperatively. Among children having postoperative documentation of limb lengths, the limb length discrepancies became less (11), were unchanged (1), or progressed (3). Follow-up averaged 8.0 years. There was no operative mortality in this experience.Conclusions:Primary lower extremity arterial reconstructions in children with chronic lower extremity ischemia can be successfully undertaken with excellent results. Nevertheless, the potential for late primary graft failures, evident in nearly a third of this experience, mandates careful long-term follow-up and may necessitate secondary interventions to maintain satisfactory outcomes.

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