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The Impact of Clinical Follow-Up After Revascularization on the Outcomes of Patients with Chronic Limb Threatening Ischemia

      Background

      Guidelines for optimal follow-up for patients undergoing lower extremity revascularization (LER) for peripheral arterial disease recommend multiple visits with imaging during the first year followed by yearly monitoring thereafter. Critical limb-threatening ischemia (CLTI) patients are at a greater risk for mortality and limb amputation than claudicants and thus necessitate closer monitoring. The goal of this article is to study the effects of compliance with follow-up after revascularization for patients with CLTI on major amputation rates and mortality.

      Methods

      A single-center retrospective chart review of consecutive patients undergoing LER for CLTI was performed. Patients were stratified based on compliance with follow-up to compliant or noncompliant cohorts. Patient characteristics, reinterventions, and perioperative and long-term outcomes were compared between the 2 groups.

      Results

      There were 356 patients undergoing LER and 61% (N = 218) were compliant. There was no significant difference in baseline characteristics between the 2 groups. Noncompliant patients were more likely to undergo endovascular interventions compared to compliant patients (92.8% vs. 79.4%, P = 0.03). There was no difference in perioperative outcomes between the 2 groups with overall 30-day mortality of 0.6%. After mean follow-up of 2.7 years, compliant patients had greater ipsilateral reintervention rates (49.1% vs. 34.1%, P = 0.005) and overall reintervention rates (61% vs. 44.2%, P = 0.002) compared to noncompliant patients. There was no significant difference in mortality or ipsilateral major amputations between the 2 groups.

      Conclusions

      Patients who were compliant with follow-up after LER for CLTI underwent more reinterventions with no difference in mortality or major limb amputation. Further research regarding the threshold for reintervention and the optimal schedule for follow-up in patients with CLTI is needed.
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