Not All Patients with Critical Limb Ischaemia Require Revasc
International guidelines recommend revascularisation as the preferred treatment for patients with critical limb ischaemia (CLI). Most contemporary research focuses on the outcome of invasive procedures for CLI, but little is known about the outcome of conservative management. Amputation free survival (AFS) and overall survival (OS) was investigated in patients with CLI who did or did not receive revascularisation, and characteristics associated with clinical outcomes were explored.

This was a retrospective cohort study of consecutive patients with chronic CLI between 2010 and 2014 in a Dutch university hospital. CLI was defined as the presence of ischaemic rest pain or tissue loss in conjunction with an absolute systolic ankle pressure < 50 mmHg or a toe pressure < 30 mmHg. Patients were divided into invasive (revascularisation within 6 weeks), deferred invasive (revascularisation after 6 weeks), or permanently conservative treatment groups. Univariable and multivariable survival analyses were used to identify factors associated with AFS and OS.

The majority (66.7%; N = 96) of the identified 144 patients with CLI (mean age 71.2 years; median follow-up 99 weeks) underwent revascularisation within 6 weeks of diagnosis. Deferred invasive treatment was provided in 18.1% (N = 26) patients and 22 patients (15.3%) were treated permanently conservatively. AFS and OS did not differ significantly between the three groups (Breslow–Wilcoxon p = .16 for AFS and p = .09 for OS). Age, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and heart disease were significant independent predictors of AFS. Age, COPD, and hypertension were significant independent predictors of OS. Treatment was not a significant predictor of either AFS or OS....