Incidence and risk factors of vascular complications following endovascular treatment of peripheral arterial disease via the popliteal artery


To evaluate vascular complications associated with endovascular treatment (EVT) of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) through the popliteal artery and to identify the risk factors for these complications. Between November 2005 and January 2009, 63 patients with PAD received EVT via the popliteal artery. Retrograde (n = 58) and antegrade (n = 5) transpopliteal procedures were performed to target 77 lesions, including 12 distal to the trifurcation. Thirty-five punctures were performed under ultrasound guidance and 7 under angiographic guidance; 21 punctures were performed without any guidance. Vascular complications were evaluated by physical examination and duplex ultrasonography. Vascular complications at the popliteal puncture site occurred in 8 patients (12.7%): 6 hematomas and 2 arteriovenous fistulas (AVF). Seven of 24 patients receiving hemodialysis (HD) (29%) had significantly higher complications (P = 0.004) compared with 1 of 39 patients not receiving hemodialysis (non-HD) (2.6%). HD alone was also a significant risk factor for hematoma (P = 0.010). Both AVF occurred in HD patients (P = 0.141), and one occurred despite ultrasound-guided puncture. Ultrasound-guided puncture showed no significant improvement in reducing both complications. The combination of antiplatelet and anticoagulant therapy showed no statistical significance in overall complications. In non-HD patients, the transpopliteal approach in the EVT of PAD seems to be safe. More attention should be paid to HD patients when using the transpopliteal approach due to a higher complication rate.

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We are grateful to the Cardiology Department of the Kumamoto Central Hospital for giving us the opportunity to publish this paper. We thank Dr. Taro Saito in particular for the advice and expertise in the field of endovascular treatment.

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Correspondence to Yoko Yanagita.

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Yanagita, Y., Noda, K. Incidence and risk factors of vascular complications following endovascular treatment of peripheral arterial disease via the popliteal artery. Cardiovasc Interv and Ther 26, 209–214 (2011).

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  • Transpopliteal approach
  • Vascular complications
  • Peripheral arterial disease