We believe that a substantial experience demonstrating the effectiveness and safety of infrapopliteal artery PTA has been accumulated. It is clear that the results of tibial PTA and femoropopliteal PTA are closely associated for most patients undergoing limb salvage procedures. Anatomic selection is most important; patients with focal disease and restorable runoff will generally benefit, and interventional radiologists should concentrate on treating this group of patients. PTA and surgery for limb salvage patients are indeed complementary procedures, and patients will benefit most by a methodical team approach to treatment. Problems with reporting of data in the literature have obscured the true effectiveness of distal PTA, with such deficiencies leading to both overestimation and underestimation of clinical utility. Nevertheless, the preponderance of evidence (as we see it) suggests a clinical effectiveness of about 80% at 2 years in appropriately selected patients. Like Dr Fraser and his co-authors, we would welcome randomized trials of tibial PTA versus surgery, but even in the absence of these, the reporting of indications and results needs to be standardized: severity of symptoms at presentation and the extent of conservative treatments employed before intervention; life-table methodology on an intent-to-treat basis with clear delineation of end points; stratification by important variables such as lesion length, runoff status, extent of preexisting tissue loss, presence of diabetes and ESRD, and ideally, functional outcome and quality-of-life measures. Finally, we should learn from our surgical colleagues that close surveillance and early reintervention will probably increase the effectiveness of our percutaneous treatment methods.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging