This prospective study aims to evaluate the impact of the excimer laser technology as the first-line endovascular treatment of critical limb ischaemia (CLI) in diabetic patients. The protocol allowed the use of laser ablation of obstructive lesions when conventional endoluminal guidewire crossing of the plaque was unsuccessful. We extrapolate the data of consecutive patients treated, who completed at least 12 months of follow-up, extending the observation to a 26-month time frame. During this period, 67 diabetic patients with CLI were brought to the Cath Lab for 'operative angioplasty' and to be treated with endovascular techniques. Of the 67 cases, laser was used on 35 patients to treat 51 lesions. All patients had type C or D occlusive lesions, according to the TACS II classification, showing a single type D plaque or multiple tandem C/D occlusive plaques ranging from 4 to 23 cm in length. The immediate clinical success, defined as restored direct arterial flow to the foot, was 88.2%. The lesions were successfully crossed by laser in 45 out of 51 attempts. Stents were required in 25% of the patients with 21% lesions. Patency rates were assessed using the Kaplan-Meier survival curves. The patency rates of the successfully treated lesions (freedom from target lesion revascularisation) were 96.6% at 12 months and 82.7% at 24 months. Limb-salvage rate at 12 and 24 months were 100% and 94%, respectively. Our study showed that the excimer laser-assisted angioplasty, when feasible, is effective in granting event-free survival in CLI patients with diabetes, and that endoluminal-driven atherectomy allows long-term success in reducing the need of stents in the lower limb arteries. © 2009 European Society for Vascular Surgery.
Excimer Laser Ablation in the Treatment of Total Chronic Obstructions in Critical Limb Ischaemia in Diabetic Patients. Sustained Efficacy of Plaque Recanalisation in Mid-term Results / Serino, F.; Cao, Y.; Renzi, C.; Mascellari, L.; Toscanella, F.; Raskovic, D.; Tempesta, P.; Bandiera, G.; Santini, A.. - In: EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF VASCULAR AND ENDOVASCULAR SURGERY. - ISSN 1078-5884. - 39:2(2010), pp. 234-238. [10.1016/j.ejvs.2009.10.018]