Recent reports suggest that percutaneous transluminal angioplasty is a satisfactory alternative to surgical treatment of occlusion of the infrapopliteal arteries. To evaluate further the merits of percutaneous angioplasty of these vessels, we retrospectively analyzed the results of 57 procedures in 53 patients. Seventy-six infrapopliteal arteries were dilated: 26 anterior tibial arteries, 10 posterior tibial arteries, 18 peroneal arteries, and 22 tibioperoneal trunks. Thirty-three (62%) of the patients had concomitant angioplasties of the femoropopliteal arteries or vein grafts. There were three major complications (one death due to cardiac arrest 5 hr after the procedure and two puncture-site hematomas requiring surgery). Twenty minor complications did not affect clinical course. In the first 14 procedures (25%), tapered catheters were used, and technical success occurred in only four (29%). In the succeeding 43 procedures (75%), Gruentzig balloon catheters and low-profile balloons were used, and technical success occurred in 37 procedures (86%). Prompt clinical improvement was seen in 32 (80%) of 40 technically successful procedures. Prompt clinical improvement occurred in 28 (97%) of 29 procedures in which angioplasty restored straight-line flow to the foot (i.e., nonobstructed blood flow in at least one calf vessel that is narrowed by no more than 75% of its diameter). When such flow was not restored, clinical improvement occurred in only four (36%) of 11 cases (p < .001). These results show that with current technology, infrapopliteal artery angioplasty is an effective and safe procedure. The greatest benefit is achieved when straight-line blood flow to the foot is restored.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging