Skip to main content


Log in

Long-term results of percutaneous aspiration embolectomy

  • Published:
CardioVascular and Interventional Radiology Aims and scope Submit manuscript



To evaluate percutaneous aspiration embolectomy (PAE) as a therapeutic alternative to surgical embolectomy.


Eighty-five patients underwent 90 PAEs for embolic occlusions below the inguinal ligament between October 1987 and September 1992 in a prospective study with a 96% follow-up.


The first PAE was clinically successful in 77 limbs (86%). In eight cases, major amputation was necessary. Eleven of 13 failures were observed in limbs with acutely threatening ischemia, but the success rate was independent of the time interval from embolism to the PAE procedure. The 30-day mortality rate was 3.5%. The cumulative primary patency rate at 1 and 4 years was 68% and 58%, respectively. The limb salvage rate was 88% after 1 year and 86% after 4 years. The patency rate was significantly better and the mortality was significantly lower in patients receiving long-term anticoagulation with coumadin.


PAE is highly effective in the treatment of embolic occlusions of the lower leg arteries and should be considered as an alternative to Fogarty balloon embolectomy.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others


  1. Fogarty TJ, Cranley JJ, Krause RJ, Strasser E, Hafner C (1963) A method for extraction of arterial emboli and thrombi. Surg Gynecol Obstet 116:241–244

    Google Scholar 

  2. Blaisdell FW, Steel M, Allen RE (1978) Management of acute lower extremity arterial ischemia due to embolism and thrombosis. Surgery 84:822–831

    Google Scholar 

  3. Amery A, Deloof W, Vermylen J, Verstraete M (1970) Outcome of recent thromboembolic occlusions of limb arteries treated with streptokinase. Br Med J 4:639–644

    Google Scholar 

  4. Hess H, Ingrisch H, Mietaschk A, Rath II (1982) Local low-dose thrombolytic therapy of peripheral arterial occlusions. N Engl J Med 307:1627–1630

    Google Scholar 

  5. Sniderman KW, Bodner L, Saddekni S, Srur M, Sos TA (1984) Percutaneous embolectomy by transcatheter aspiration. Radiology 150:357–361

    Google Scholar 

  6. Starck EE, McDermott JC, Crummy AB, Turnipseed WD, Acher CW, Burgess JH (1985) Percutaneous aspiration thrombo-embolectomy. Radiology 156:61–66

    Google Scholar 

  7. Rutherford RB, Flanigan DP, Gupta SK, Johnston KW, Karmody A, Whittemore AD, Baker JD, Ernst CB (1986) Suggested standards for reports dealing with lower extremity ischemia. J Vasc Surg 4:80–94

    Google Scholar 

  8. Wagner HJ, Starck EE (1992) Acute embolic occlusions of the infrainguinal arteries: Percutaneous aspiration embolectomy in 102 patients. Radiology 182:403–407

    Google Scholar 

  9. Barker C, Rosato F, Roberts B (1966) Peripheral arterial embolism. Surg Gynecol Obstet 123:22–26

    Google Scholar 

  10. Darling R, Austen W, Linton R (1967) Arterial embolism. Surg Gynecol Obstet 124:106–114

    Google Scholar 

  11. Cranley J, Kause R, Strasser E, Hafner C (1970) Catheter technique for arterial embolectomy: A seven-year experience. J Cardiovasc Surg 11:44–51

    Google Scholar 

  12. Abbott WM, Maloney RD, McCabe CC, Lee CE, Wirthlin LS (1982) Arterial embolism: A 44-year perspective. Am J Surg 143:460–464

    Google Scholar 

  13. Tawes RL, Harris EJ, Brown WH, Shoor PM, Zimmermann JJ, Sydorak GR, Beare JP, Scribner RG, Fogarty TJ (1985) Arterial thromboembolism. A 20-year perspective. Arch Surg 120:595–599

    Google Scholar 

  14. Murie JA, Mathieson M (1987) Arterial embolectomy in the leg: Results in a referral hospital. J Cardiovasc Surg 28:184–188

    Google Scholar 

  15. Baxter-Smith D, Ashton F, Slaney G (1988) Peripheral arterial embolism. A 20-year review. J Cardiovasc Surg 29:453–457

    Google Scholar 

  16. Hess H, Mietaschk A, Brückl R (1987) Peripheral arterial occlusions: A 6-year experience with local low-dose thrombolytic therapy. Radiology 163:753–758

    Google Scholar 

  17. Paulson EK, Miller FJ (1988) Embolization of cardiac mural thrombus: Complication of intra-arterial fibrinolysis. Radiology 168:95–96

    Google Scholar 

  18. Dregelid EB, Stangeland LB, Eide GE, Trippestad A (1987) Patient survival and limb prognosis after arterial embolectomy. Eur J Vasc Surg 1:263–271

    Google Scholar 

  19. Bugge M, Jelnes R, Arendrup H, Baekgaard N, Rasmussen LB, Christensen AB, Hansen EF, Arendrup K, Holstein P (1985) Arterial embolism of the legs: A follow-up study of 252 patients. Ann Chir Gynaecol 74:137–141

    Google Scholar 

  20. Elliot JP, Hagemann JH, Szilagyi DE, Ramakrishnan V, Bravo JJ, Smith RF (1980) Arterial embolization: Problems of source, multiplicity, recurrence, and delayed treatment. Surgery 88:833–844

    Google Scholar 

  21. Petersen P, Boysen G, Godtfredsen J, Andersen ED, Andersen B (1989) Placebo-controlled, randomised trial of warfarin and aspirin for prevention of thromboembolic complications in chronic atrial fibrillation: The Copenhagen AFASAK study. Lancet 1:175–179

    Google Scholar 

  22. The Boston Area Anticoagulation Trial for Atrial Fibrillation Investigators (1990) The effect of low-dose warfarin on the risk of stroke in patients with nonrheumatic atrial fibrillation. N Engl J Med 323:1505–1511

    Google Scholar 

  23. Ezkowitz MD, Bridgers SL, James KE, Carliner NH, Colling CL, Gornick CC, Krause-Steinrauf H, Kurtzke JF, Nazarian SM, Radford MJ, Rickles FR, Shabetai R, Deykin D (1992) Warfarin in the prevention of stroke associated with nonrheumatic atrial fibrillation. N Engl J Med 327:1406–1412

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Wagner, HJ., Starck, E.E. & Reuter, P. Long-term results of percutaneous aspiration embolectomy. Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol 17, 241–246 (1994).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Key words