Anterolateral Popliteal Puncture Technique: A Novel Retrograde Approach for Chronic Femoropopliteal Occlusions

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Purpose: To describe the feasibility and safety of an anterolateral popliteal puncture technique as a retrograde access to chronic total occlusions (CTOs) in the femoropopliteal segment. Methods: Twenty consecutive patients (mean age 75.1±10.9 years; 13 women) with symptomatic femoropopliteal occlusive disease underwent endovascular therapy via a retrograde access using the anterolateral popliteal puncture technique. With the patient supine, the P3 segment of the popliteal artery was accessed with a sheathless technique intended to provide minimally invasive access. Subsequent to a wire rendezvous technique in the CTO, the antegrade guidewire was advanced to the below-the-knee artery. Hemostasis across the P3 segment was secured with balloon inflation alone or combined with thrombin-blood patch (TBP) injection. Results: Both the anterolateral popliteal puncture technique and subsequent revascularization were successful in all patients. Mean hemostasis time for balloon inflation only was 7.73±4.03 vs 4.78±0.78 minutes for balloon inflation with TBP injection. There were no in-hospital deaths or complications, including pseudoaneurysms, arteriovenous fistulas, hematomas, embolic complications, or nerve damage. Conclusion: The anterolateral popliteal puncture technique is useful as an alternative retrograde access vs a conventional transpopliteal approach for CTOs in the femoropopliteal segment if antegrade recanalization has failed. This technique may become one option for retrograde access in patients with severe below-the-knee lesions or with CTOs that extend to the P2 segment of the popliteal artery. Furthermore, this technique has the added benefit of allowing patients to remain in the supine position throughout treatment.

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