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We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of comparing balloon angioplasty and primary stenting for symptomatic infrapopliteal disease to evaluate the clinical value of primary stenting in treating infrapopliteal diseases.Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines were followed. PubMed (1984-present), ScienceDirect (1980-present), Embase (1990-present), and CBM (1988-present) databases were searched for relevant articles. Finally, 16 studies (published between 2001 and 2013) satisfying the inclusion criteria were identified. The outcome parameters were immediate technical success, 1-year primary patency rate, 1-year limb salvage rate, and 1-year target vessel revascularization (TVR)-free rate. Comparisons were made with balloon angioplasty and primary stenting, and based on the different types of stents, we divided the primary stent group into the bare metal stent (BMS) group and drug-eluting stent (DES) group.A total of 3789 patients and 4339 limbs constituted our final study population. The technical success rate of balloon angioplasty was 92.29% (95% confidence interval [CI] 88.75%-94.78%). Only 2 study reported the technical failure rates as 4% and 5.2% in the primary stent group. The pooled estimates of 1-year primary patency and TVR-free rate were similarly low in the balloon angioplasty group and BMS group (primary patency: 57.65%, 95% CI 53.54%-61.67% vs 60.95%, 95% CI 48.31%-72.28%, P = .38; TVR-free rate: 73.41%, 95% CI 66.51%-80.08% vs 73.66%, 95% CI 63.58%-81.75%, P = .91). The pooled estimates of 1-year primary patency and TVR-free rate in DES group were 81.10% (95% CI 75.48%-85.67%) and 90.30% (95% CI 85.30%-93.73%), respectively, which were better than those of the BMS and balloon angioplasty groups (P < .001 for both). The pooled estimate of 1-year limb salvage in the balloon angioplasty, BMS, and DES groups was 88.61% (95% CI 85.01%-91.43%), 94.41% (95% CI 89.52%-97.1%), and 95.20% (95% CI 86.97%-98.33%), respectively (P < .001). The BMS and DES groups had higher limb salvage rates than the balloon angioplasty group (P < .001 for both comparisons). The rates of severe complications were low both in the balloon angioplasty and in the primary stent groups.Primary BMS implantation had no advantage over balloon angioplasty in reducing restenosis or revascularization for infrapopliteal disease. Primary DES implantation seems to be a promising treatment for focal infrapopliteal lesions. Publication bias could not be ruled out, and the results should be treated with caution.