Digital subtraction angiography (DSA) of the peripheral arterial vasculature provides lumenographic information but only a qualitative assessment of blood flow. The ability to quantify adequate tissue perfusion of the lower extremities would enable real-time perfusion assessment during DSA of patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD). In this study, we used a novel real-time imaging software to delineate tissue perfusion parameters in the foot in PAD patients.Methods
Between March 2015 and June 2016, patients (N = 31) underwent lower extremity angiography using a two-dimensional perfusion (2DP) imaging protocol (Philips Healthcare, Andover, Mass). Of the 31 enrolled patients, 16 patients received preintervention and postintervention DSA images (18 angiograms), while contrast agent injection settings and the position of the foot, catheter, and C-arm were kept constant. The region of interest for perfusion measurements was taken at the level of the medial malleolus. Perfusion parameters included arrival time (AT) of contrast material, wash-in rate (WIR), time to peak (TTP) contrast intensity, and area under the curve (AUC).Results
Patients (mean age, 67 years; male, 61%) undergoing 2DP had limbs classified as Rutherford class 3 (n = 9 limbs), class 4 (n = 11), and class 5 (n = 14) ischemia with a mean ankle-brachial index of 0.63. For the whole cohort, median (interquartile range) AT measured 5.20 (3.10-7.25) seconds; WIR, 61.95 (43.53-86.43) signal intensity (SI)/s; TTP, 3.80 (2.88-4.50) seconds; peak intensity, 725.00 (613.75-1138.00) SI; and AUC, 12,084.00 (6742.80-17,059.70) SI*s. A subset of patients had 2DP performed before and after intervention (n = 18 cases). A detectable improvement in SI and two-dimensional flow parameters was seen after intervention. Average AT of contrast material to the region of interest shortened after intervention with percentage decrease of 30.1% ± 49.1%, corresponding decrease in TTP of 17.6% ± 24.7%, increase in WIR of 68.8% ± 94.2% and in AUC of 10.5% ± 37.6%, decrease in mean transit time of 18.7% ± 28.1%, and increase in peak of 34.4% ± 42.2%.Conclusions
The 2DP imaging allows measurement of blood flow in real time as an adjunct to DSA. The AT may be the most sensitive marker of perfusion change in the lower extremity. Quantitative thresholds based on 2DP hold promise for immediate treatment effectiveness assessment in patients with PAD.