Annals of Vascular Surgery vol:23 issue:2 pages:179-185
Current treatment of acute infrainguinal bypass occlusion consists of either surgical revascularization or catheter-guided intra-arterial thrombolysis with adjunctive correction of the underlying flow-limiting lesion. In maintaining long-term patency, improving the number of outflow vessels could be of utmost importance. To compare the efficiency of both thrombolysis and primary surgical revascularization and to study the effect of thrombolysis on the number of patent outflow vessels, a prospective nonrandomized study was performed. Between February 2002 and August 2003, 54 patients with 56 occluded bypasses were included. Thirty bypasses were treated with thrombolysis, 26 primarily with surgery. Thrombolysis was successful in 80% of cases, with restoration of patency of the bypass but also with doubling of the amount of patent outflow vessels; surgery was successful in 85.71% of cases. However, in only 60% of the successfully lysed bypasses no adjunctive major surgery was needed. Amputation-free survival was 87.5% 1 year after surgery and 82.6% 1 year after thrombolysis. One year after thrombolysis without adjunctive major surgery, the amputation-free survival was only 39.7%. Therefore, a strategy could be to start with thrombolysis to improve outflow followed by a new bypass, whatever the underlying causative lesions are.