Long-Term Follow-up of a Randomized Clinical Trial Comparing Endovascular Revascularization Plus Supervised Exercise with Supervised Exercise only for Intermittent Claudication.

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The goal of this study was to assess the long-term effectiveness of combination therapy for intermittent claudication, compared with supervised exercise only.Supervised exercise therapy is recommended as first-line treatment for intermittent claudication by recent guidelines. Combining endovascular revascularization plus supervised exercise shows promising results, however there is a lack of long-term follow-up.The ERASE study is a multicenter randomized clinical trial, including patients between May 2010 and February 2013 with intermittent claudication. Interventions were combination of endovascular revascularization plus supervised exercise (n = 106) or supervised exercise only (n = 106). Primary endpoint was the difference in maximum walking distance at long-term follow-up. Secondary endpoints included differences in pain-free walking distance, ankle-brachial index, quality of life, progression to critical limb ischemia, and revascularization procedures during follow-up. This randomized trial report is based on a post hoc analysis of extended follow-up beyond that of the initial trial. Patients were followed up until 31 July 2017. Data were analyzed according to the intention-to-treat principle.Median long-term follow-up was 5.4 years (IQR 4.9-5.7). Treadmill test was completed for 128/212 (60%) patients. Whereas the difference in maximum walking distance significantly favored combination therapy at 1-year follow-up, the difference at 5-year follow-up was no longer significant (53m; 99% CI -225 to 331; p = 0.62). No difference in pain-free walking distance, ankle-brachial index and quality of life was found during long-term follow-up. We found that supervised exercise was associated with an increased hazard of a revascularization procedure during follow-up (HR 2.50; 99% CI 1.27 to 4.90; p < 0.001). The total number of revascularization procedures (including randomized treatment) was lower in the exercise only group compared to that in the combination therapy group (65 versus 149).Long-term follow up after combination therapy versus supervised exercise only, demonstrated no significant difference in walking distance or quality of life between the treatment groups. Combination therapy resulted in a lower number of revascularization procedures during follow-up but a higher total number of revascularizations including the randomized treatment.Netherlands Trial Registry Identifier: NTR2249.

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