Multiple reinterventions for claudication are associated with progression to chronic limb-threatening ischemia.
Claudication has a relatively benign natural history, associated with a low risk of limb loss. However, rates of progression to chronic limb-threatening ischemia (CLTI) following lower extremity revascularization (LER) for claudication remain unclear. This study examines the long-term outcomes and risk factors associated with progression to CLTI after LER for claudication.A single center retrospective review of patients undergoing LER for claudication was performed from 2013-2016. Patients were stratified based whether they progressed to CLTI or not.There were 448 patients (502 limbs) treated for claudication and 57 (12.7%) progressed to CLTI with a mean follow up time of 3.7 ± 1.5 years. Among patients who progressed, 23 (5.1%) developed tissue loss, 34 (7.6%) developed rest pain, and 6 (1.2%) underwent major amputation. The mean time of progression to CLTI was 1.6 ± 1.5 years after index LER. Patients who progressed to CLTI were more likely to have a history of congestive heart failure and prior open revascularizations compared with those who did not progress. There was no difference in type or level of index revascularization between the two groups, and no difference in perioperative complications. Patients who developed CLTI had significantly higher rates of reinterventions and mean number of reinterventions after index LER prior to developing CLTI compared to those who did not progress. Multivariable logistic regression demonstrated that history of congestive heart failure (OR=2.8 [1.2-6.6]), stroke (OR=2.6 [1.1-6.1]), prior open procedure (OR=2.8 [1.3-5.9]) and increasing number of reinterventions after index LER (OR=2.9 [1.5-5.7]) were independently associated with disease progression to CLTI.Multiple reinterventions and previous open revascularization are associated with progression to CLTI following LER for claudication. Patients with atherosclerosis in the coronary and cerebrovascular beds are also more likely to have progression of claudication to CLTI after LER.