An Endovascular- Versus a Surgery-First Revascularization Strategy for Chronic Limb-Threatening Ischemia: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

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The American journal of cardiology


Timely revascularization is essential for limb salvage and to reduce mortality in patients with chronic limb-threatening ischemia (CLTI). In patients who are candidates for endovascular therapy and surgical bypass, the optimal revascularization strategy remains uncertain. Recently published randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have presented conflicting results. We conducted a trial-level meta-analysis to compare the outcomes between endovascular-first and surgery-first strategies for revascularization. PubMed, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Library were searched to identify RCTs comparing the outcomes of endovascular-first versus surgery-first strategies for revascularization in patients with CLTI. Data were pooled for major outcomes and their aggregate risk ratios (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals were calculated using a random-effects model. Kaplan-Meier curves for amputation-free survival and overall survival time were plotted using the pooled aggregated data from published curves, with their corresponding hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals reported for up to 5 years of follow-up. A total of 3 RCTs with 2,627 patients (1,312 endovascular-first and 1,315 surgery-first) were included in the meta-analysis. Of these, 1,864 patients (70.9%) were men and 347 (13.2%) were older than 80 years. Comparing the endovascular-first and surgery-first approaches, there was no significant difference in the overall (HR 0.92 [0.83 to 1.01], p = 0.09) or amputation-free survival (HR 0.98 [0.92 to 1.03], p = 0.42), reintervention (RR 1.24 [0.74 to 2.07], p = 0.41), major amputation, (RR 1.16 [0.87 to 1.54], p = 0.31), or therapeutic crossover (RR 0.92 [0.37 to 2.26], p = 0.85). In conclusion, data from available RCTs suggest that there is no difference in clinical outcomes between endovascular-first and surgery-first revascularization strategies for CLTI. A planned patient-level meta-analysis may provide further insight.

Medical Subject Headings

Male; Humans; Female; Chronic Limb-Threatening Ischemia; Risk Factors; Endovascular Procedures; Ischemia; Peripheral Arterial Disease; Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic; Treatment Outcome; Retrospective Studies; Chronic Disease

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ePub ahead of print



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