Author + information
- Published online November 1, 2011.
- Thom W. Rooke, MD, FACC, Chair, 2011 Writing Group†,
- Alan T. Hirsch, MD, FACC, Vice Chair, 2011 Writing Group⁎,
- Sanjay Misra, MD, Vice Chair, 2011 Writing Group⁎,‡,
- Anton N. Sidawy, MD, MPH, FACS, Vice Chair, 2011 Writing Group§,
- Joshua A. Beckman, MD, FACC, FAHA, 2011 Writing Group Member⁎∥,
- Laura K. Findeiss, MD, 2011 Writing Group Member‡,
- Jafar Golzarian, MD, 2011 Writing Group Member†,
- Heather L. Gornik, MD, FACC, FAHA, 2011 Writing Group Member⁎,†,
- Jonathan L. Halperin, MD, FACC, FAHA, 2011 Writing Group Member⁎,¶,
- Michael R. Jaff, DO, FACC, 2011 Writing Group Member⁎,†,
- Gregory L. Moneta, MD, FACS, 2011 Writing Group Member†,
- Jeffrey W. Olin, DO, FACC, FAHA, 2011 Writing Group Member⁎,#,
- James C. Stanley, MD, FACS, 2011 Writing Group Member†,
- Christopher J. White, MD, FACC, FAHA, FSCAI, 2011 Writing Group Member⁎⁎,⁎,
- John V. White, MD, FACS, 2011 Writing Group Member† and
- R. Eugene Zierler, MD, FACS, 2011 Writing Group Member†
- ACCF/AHA Practice Guidelines
- antiplatelet agents
- aortic aneurysm
- critical limb ischemia
- endovascular procedures
- limb salvage
- medical treatment
- open surgical treatment
- peripheral artery disease
- smoking cessation
2005 Writing Committee Members
Alan T. Hirsch, MD, FACC, Chair; Ziv J. Haskal, MD, FAHA, FSIR, Co-Chair; Norman R. Hertzer, MD, FACS, Co-Chair; Curtis W. Bakal, MD, MPH, FAHA; Mark A. Creager, MD, FACC, FAHA; Jonathan L. Halperin, MD, FACC, FAHA§; Loren F. Hiratzka, MD, FACC, FAHA, FACS; William R. C. Murphy, MD, FACC, FACS; Jeffrey W. Olin, DO, FACC; Jules B. Puschett, MD, FAHA; Kenneth A. Rosenfield, MD, FACC; David Sacks, MD, FSIR‡; James C. Stanley, MD, FACS§; Lloyd M. Taylor, Jr, MD, FACS§; Christopher J. White, MD, FACC, FAHA, FSCAI⁎⁎; John V. White, MD, FACS§; Rodney A. White, MD, FACS§
ACCF/AHA Task Force Members
Alice K. Jacobs, MD, FACC, FAHA, Chair; Jeffrey L. Anderson, MD, FACC, FAHA, Chair-Elect; Nancy Albert, PhD, CCNS, CCRN, FAHA; Mark A. Creager, MD, FACC, FAHA; Steven M. Ettinger, MD, FACC; Robert A. Guyton, MD, FACC; Jonathan L. Halperin, MD, FACC, FAHA; Judith S. Hochman, MD, FACC, FAHA; Frederick G. Kushner, MD, FACC, FAHA; E. Magnus Ohman, MD, FACC; William Stevenson, MD, FACC, FAHA; Clyde W. Yancy, MD, FACC, FAHA
Table of Contents
1.1 Methodology and Evidence Review......2023
1.2 Organization of the Writing Group......2024
1.3 Document Review and Approval......2024
1.4 Scope of the Focused Update......2024
2. Lower Extremity PAD......2024
2.5 Diagnostic Methods......2024
2.5.1 Recommendations for Ankle-Brachial Index, Toe-Brachial Index, and Segmental Pressure Examination......2024
18.104.22.168 Recommendations for Smoking Cessation......2025
22.214.171.124 Recommendations for Antiplatelet and Antithrombotic Drugs......2025
2.6.3 Recommendations for Critical Limb Ischemia: Endovascular and Open Surgical Treatment for Limb Salvage......2027
5. Aneurysm of the Abdominal Aorta, Its Branch Vessels, and the Lower Extremities......2028
126.96.36.199 Recommendations for Management Overview......2028
Appendix 1. Author Relationships With Industry and Other Entities (Relevant)......2033
Appendix 2. Reviewer Relationships With Industry And Other Entities (Relevant)......2034
Appendix 3. 2011 Peripheral Artery Disease Focused Update Summary Table......2036
Keeping pace with the stream of new data and evolving evidence on which guideline recommendations are based is an ongoing challenge to timely development of clinical practice guidelines. In an effort to respond promptly to new evidence, the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association (ACCF/AHA) Task Force on Practice Guidelines (Task Force) has created a “focused update” process to revise the existing guideline recommendations that are affected by the evolving data or opinion. New evidence is reviewed in an ongoing fashion to more efficiently respond to important science and treatment trends that could have a major impact on patient outcomes and quality of care. Evidence is reviewed at least twice a year, and updates are initiated on an as-needed basis and completed as quickly as possible while maintaining the rigorous methodology that the ACCF and AHA have developed during their partnership of >20 years.
These updated guideline recommendations reflect a consensus of expert opinion after a thorough review primarily of late-breaking clinical trials identified through a broad-based vetting process as being important to the relevant patient population, as well as other new data deemed to have an impact on patient care (see Section 1.1, Methodology and Evidence Review, for details). This focused update is not intended to represent an update based on a complete literature review from the date of the previous guideline publication. Specific criteria/considerations for inclusion of new data include the following:
• publication in a peer-reviewed journal;
• large, randomized, placebo-controlled trial(s);
• nonrandomized data deemed important on the basis of results affecting current safety and efficacy assumptions, including observational studies and meta-analyses;
• strength/weakness of research methodology and findings;
• likelihood of additional studies influencing current findings;
• impact on current and/or likelihood of need to develop new performance measure(s);
• request(s) and requirement(s) for review and update from the practice community, key stakeholders, and other sources free of relationships with industry or other potential bias;
• number of previous trials showing consistent results; and
• need for consistency with a new guideline or guideline updates or revisions.
Selected members of the previous writing committee as well as other experts in the subject under consideration are chosen by the ACCF and AHA to examine subject-specific data and to write guidelines in partnership with representatives from other medical organizations and specialty groups. Writing group members review the selected late-breaking clinical trials and other new data that have been vetted through the Task Force; weigh the strength of evidence for or against particular tests, treatments, or procedures; and include estimates of expected outcomes where such data exist. Patient-specific modifiers, comorbidities, and issues of patient preference that may influence the choice of tests or therapies are considered. When available, information from studies on cost is considered, but data on efficacy and outcomes constitute the primary basis for the recommendations contained herein.
In analyzing the data and developing recommendations and supporting text, the writing group uses evidence-based methodologies developed by the Task Force (1). The Class of Recommendation (COR) is an estimate of the size of the treatment effect considering risks versus benefits in addition to evidence and/or agreement that a given treatment or procedure is or is not useful/effective or in some situations may cause harm. The Level of Evidence (LOE) is an estimate of the certainty or precision of the treatment effect. The writing group reviews and ranks evidence supporting each recommendation with the weight of evidence ranked as LOE A, B, or C according to specific definitions that are included in Table 1. Studies are identified as observational, retrospective, prospective, or randomized where appropriate. For certain conditions for which inadequate data are available, recommendations are based on expert consensus and clinical experience and are ranked as LOE C. When recommendations at LOE C are supported by historical clinical data, appropriate references (including clinical reviews) are cited if available. For issues for which sparse data are available, a survey of current practice among the clinicians on the writing group is the basis for LOE C recommendations, and no references are cited. The schema for COR and LOE is summarized in Table 1, which also provides suggested phrases for writing recommendations within each COR. A new addition to this methodology is a separation of the Class III recommendations to delineate whether the recommendation is determined to be of “no benefit” or is associated with “harm” to the patient. In addition, in view of the increasing number of comparative effectiveness studies, comparator verbs and suggested phrases for writing recommendations for the comparative effectiveness of one treatment or strategy versus another have been added for COR I and IIa, LOE A or B only.
In view of the advances in medical therapy across the spectrum of cardiovascular diseases, the Task Force has designated the term guideline–directed medical therapy (GDMT) to represent optimal medical therapy as defined by ACCF/AHA guideline-recommended therapies (primarily Class I). This new term, GDMT, will be used herein and throughout all future guidelines.
Because the ACCF/AHA practice guidelines address patient populations (and healthcare providers) residing in North America, drugs that are not currently available in North America are discussed in the text without a specific COR. For studies performed in large numbers of subjects outside North America, each writing group reviews the potential influence of different practice patterns and patient populations on the treatment effect and relevance to the ACCF/AHA target population to determine whether the findings should inform a specific recommendation.
The ACCF/AHA practice guidelines are intended to assist healthcare providers in clinical decision making by describing a range of generally acceptable approaches to the diagnosis, management, and prevention of specific diseases or conditions. The guidelines attempt to define practices that meet the needs of most patients in most circumstances. The ultimate judgment regarding care of a particular patient must be made by the healthcare provider and patient in light of all the circumstances presented by that patient. As a result, situations may arise for which deviations from these guidelines may be appropriate. Clinical decision making should involve consideration of the quality and availability of expertise in the area where care is provided. When these guidelines are used as the basis for regulatory or payer decisions, the goal should be improvement in quality of care. The Task Force recognizes that situations arise in which additional data are needed to inform patient care more effectively; these areas will be identified within each respective guideline when appropriate.
Prescribed courses of treatment in accordance with these recommendations are effective only if followed. Because lack of patient understanding and adherence may adversely affect outcomes, physicians and other healthcare providers should make every effort to engage the patient's active participation in prescribed medical regimens and lifestyles. In addition, patients should be informed of the risks, benefits, and alternatives to a particular treatment and be involved in shared decision making whenever feasible, particularly for COR IIa and IIb, for which the benefit-to-risk ratio may be lower.
The Task Force makes every effort to avoid actual, potential, or perceived conflicts of interest that may arise as a result of industry relationships or personal interests among the members of the writing group. All writing group members and peer reviewers of the guideline are asked to disclose all such current relationships as well as those existing 12 months previously. In December 2009, the ACCF and AHA implemented a new policy for relationships with industry and other entities (RWI) that requires the writing group chair plus a minimum of 50% of the writing group to have no relevant RWI (Appendix 1 for the ACCF/AHA definition of relevance). These statements are reviewed by the Task Force and all members during each conference call and/or meeting of the writing group and are updated as changes occur. All guideline recommendations require a confidential vote by the writing group and must be approved by a consensus of the voting members. Members are not permitted to write, and must recuse themselves from voting on, any recommendation or section to which their RWI apply. Members who recused themselves from voting are indicated in the list of writing group members, and section recusals are noted in Appendix 1. Authors' and peer reviewers' RWI pertinent to this guideline are disclosed in Appendixes 1 and 2, respectively. Additionally, to ensure complete transparency, writing group members' comprehensive disclosure information—including RWI not pertinent to this document—is available as an online supplement. Comprehensive disclosure information for the Task Force is also available online at www.cardiosource.org/ACC/About-ACC/Leadership/Guidelines-and-Documents-Task-Forces.cardiosource.org. The work of the writing group was supported exclusively by the ACCF and AHA without commercial support. Writing group members volunteered their time for this activity.
In an effort to maintain relevance at the point of care for practicing physicians, the Task Force continues to oversee an ongoing process improvement initiative. As a result, in response to pilot projects, several changes to these guidelines will be apparent, including limited narrative text and a focus on summary and evidence tables.
The recommendations in this focused update will be considered current until they are superseded by another focused update or the full-text guideline is revised. Guidelines are official policy of both the ACCF and AHA.
Alice K. Jacobs, MD, FACC, FAHA Chair, ACCF/AHA Task Force on Practice Guidelines
1.1 Methodology and Evidence Review
The results of late-breaking clinical trials presented at the annual scientific meetings of the ACC, AHA, European Society of Cardiology, Society for Vascular Surgery, Society of Interventional Radiology, and Society for Vascular Medicine, as well as selected other data/articles published through December 2010, were reviewed by the 2005 guideline writing committee along with the Task Force and other experts to identify those trials and other key data that may impact guideline recommendations. On the basis of the criteria/considerations noted above, recent trial data and other clinical information were considered important enough to prompt a focused update of the “ACC/AHA 2005 Guidelines for the Management of Patients With Peripheral Arterial Disease (Lower Extremity, Renal, Mesenteric, and Abdominal Aortic)” (2). Because clinical research and clinical care of vascular disease have a global investigative and international clinical care tradition, efforts were made to harmonize this update with the Trans-Atlantic Inter-Society Consensus document on Management of Peripheral Arterial Disease (TASC) and the Inter-Society Consensus for the Management of Peripheral Arterial Disease (TASC II) Steering Committee guideline writing efforts (3).
To provide clinicians with a comprehensive set of data, whenever deemed appropriate or when published, the absolute risk difference and number needed to treat or harm are provided in the guideline, along with confidence intervals (CIs) and data related to the relative treatment effects, such as odds ratio, relative risk, hazard ratio (HR), or incidence rate ratio.
Consult the full-text version (2) or executive summary (4) of the “ACC/AHA 2005 Guidelines for the Management of Patients With Peripheral Arterial Disease (Lower Extremity, Renal, Mesenteric, and Abdominal Aortic)” for policy on clinical areas not covered by the focused update. Individual recommendations modified in this focused update will be incorporated into future revisions and/or updates of the full-text guideline.
1.2 Organization of the Writing Group
For this focused update, all eligible members of the 2005 writing committee were invited to participate; those who agreed (referred to as the 2011 focused update writing group) were required to disclose all RWI relevant to the data under consideration. In addition, new members were invited in order to preserve the required RWI balance. The writing group included representatives from the ACCF, AHA, Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, Society of Interventional Radiology, Society for Vascular Medicine, and Society for Vascular Surgery.
1.3 Document Review and Approval
This document was reviewed by 2 official reviewers each nominated by the ACCF and the AHA, as well as 2 reviewers each from the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, Society of Interventional Radiology, Society for Vascular Medicine, and Society for Vascular Surgery; and 13 individual content reviewers (including members from the following groups: ACCF/AHA Task Force on Clinical Data Standards, ACCF Interventional Scientific Council, 2005 Peripheral Artery Disease Writing Committee, ACCF/AHA Task Force on Performance Measures, ACCF Prevention Committee, and ACCF Peripheral Vascular Disease Committee). All information on reviewers' RWI was distributed to the writing group and is published in this document (Appendix 2).
This document was approved for publication by the governing bodies of the ACCF and AHA and endorsed by the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, Society of Interventional Radiology, Society for Vascular Medicine, and Society for Vascular Surgery.
1.4 Scope of the Focused Update
Studies relevant to the management of patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD) (lower extremity, renal, mesenteric, and abdominal aortic) were identified and reviewed as described previously in Section 1.1. On the basis of these data, the writing group determined that updates to the 2005 recommendations were necessary for lower extremity and abdominal aortic disease but that the existing recommendations for renal and mesenteric disease remain valid (4). Although the specific recommendations for renal and mesenteric disease did not change, the following observations and clarifications were made:
1. Medical therapy for renal disease: No new pivotal trials or studies were identified.
2. Revascularization for renal disease: The writing group acknowledges that some new studies support a more limited role for renal revascularization. For example, the ASTRAL (Angioplasty and Stent for Renal Artery Lesions) investigators (5) concluded that there were substantial risks but no clinical benefit from revascularization in patients with atherosclerotic renovascular disease. The writing group concurred that the criteria for patient selection in this randomized controlled trial (RCT) potentially excluded many patients who might have benefitted from intervention. It is anticipated that ongoing studies such as the CORAL (Cardiovascular Outcomes in Renal Atherosclerotic Lesions) trial (6) will provide additional evidence relevant to these recommendations in the near future.
3. Methods of revascularization for renal disease: The 2005 recommendations remain current.
The 2011 focused update acknowledges the declining use of surgical revascularization and the increasing use of catheter-based revascularization for renal artery stenoses. The writing group determined that new data support the equivalency of surgical and endovascular treatment, with lower morbidity and mortality associated with endovascular treatment but higher patency rates with surgical treatment in those patients who survived for at least 2 years after randomization (5). The writing group also notes that new data suggest that: 1) the efficacy of revascularization may be reduced in patients with branch artery stenoses (7); and 2) patients undergoing renal artery bypass may do best when surgery is performed in high-volume centers (8).
2 Lower Extremity PAD
2.5 Diagnostic Methods
2.5.1 Recommendations for Ankle-Brachial Index, Toe-Brachial Index, and Segmental Pressure Examination
The German Epidemiologic Trial on Ankle Brachial Index Study Group included 6,880 patients ≥65 years of age and demonstrated that 21% of the cohort had either asymptomatic or symptomatic PAD (11). On the basis of this large epidemiologic study, the 2011 writing group modified the age for consideration of ABI diagnostic testing to ≥65 years. The writing group considered the potential impact of lowering the PAD detection age to 65 years, acknowledging that the ABI test would be used in an incrementally larger “at-risk” population. This reflects the intent of both the original evidence-based document and this focused update to blunt the profound ongoing underdiagnosis and undertreatment of individuals with PAD until limb ischemic symptoms have become severe. This ABI recommendation is intended for office-based and vascular laboratory diagnostic use and is not intended to serve as a population screening tool. The writing group noted with confidence that no other cardiovascular disease diagnostic test can be applied in an age-defined clinical population with such a high detection rate, low to no risk, and low cost. We encourage expansion of the evidence base by design and completion of ABI screening studies.
The definitions of normal and abnormal ABI values have been modified based on publication of the results of the Ankle Brachial Index Collaboration (24). This includes a normal ABI range of 1.00 to 1.40, and abnormal values continue to be defined as those ≤0.90. ABI values of 0.91 to 0.99 are considered “borderline” and values >1.40 indicate noncompressible arteries.
The 2005 recommendations stated that segmental pressure measurements are useful in the diagnosis and anatomic localization of lower extremity PAD. The 2011 writing group recognized that vascular diagnostic laboratories could use segmental pressures, Doppler waveform analysis, pulse volume recordings, or ABI with duplex ultrasonography (or some combination of these methods) to document the presence and location of PAD in the lower extremity.
188.8.131.52 Recommendations for Smoking Cessation
No prospective RCTs have examined the effects of smoking cessation on cardiovascular events in patients with lower extremity PAD. Observational studies have found that the risk of death, myocardial infarction, and amputation is substantially greater, and lower extremity angioplasty and open surgical revascularization patency rates are lower in individuals with PAD who continue to smoke than in those who stop smoking (34–36). In some studies, exercise time is greater in patients who stop smoking than in current smokers (37,38). Efforts to achieve smoking cessation are recommended for patients with lower extremity PAD. Physician advice coupled with frequent follow-up achieves 1-year smoking cessation rates of approximately 5% compared with only 0.1% in individuals who try to quit smoking without a physician’s intervention (39). With pharmacological interventions such as nicotine replacement therapy and bupropion, 1-year smoking cessation rates of approximately 16% and 30%, respectively, are achieved in a general population of smokers (33).
Varenicline, a nicotinic receptor partial agonist, has demonstrated superior quit rates when compared with nicotine replacement and bupropion in several RCTs (30–32). The superior smoking cessation may result from better reductions in craving and withdrawal symptoms (40). Despite its greater cost, varenicline is cost-effective because of its improved quit rates (41). In 2009, the US Food and Drug Administration released a Public Health Advisory noting that both bupropion and varenicline have been associated with reports of changes in behavior such as hostility, agitation, depressed mood, and suicidal thoughts or actions. In patients with PAD specifically, comprehensive smoking cessation programs that included individualized counseling and pharmacological support significantly increased the rate of smoking cessation at 6 months compared with verbal advice to quit smoking (21.3% versus 6.8%, p=0.02) (29). Tobacco cessation interventions are particularly critical in individuals with thromboangiitis obliterans, because it is presumed that components of tobacco may be causative in the pathogenesis of this syndrome, and continued use is associated with a particularly adverse outcome (42).
184.108.40.206 Recommendations for Antiplatelet and Antithrombotic Drugs
The writing group reviewed 5 RCTs and 1 meta-analysis related to antiplatelet therapy and PAD as part of this focused update (45–48,51). Although the 2002 Antithrombotic Trialists’ Collaboration meta-analysis demonstrated a significant reduction in cardiovascular events among symptomatic PAD patients randomized to antiplatelet therapy versus placebo, there was significant heterogeneity of enrollment criteria and antiplatelet dosing regimens among the trials (44). The results of 3 RCTs of aspirin use (100 mg daily) versus placebo for cardiovascular risk reduction among patients with PAD have been published since the 2005 guideline (45–47). These trials yielded mixed results, with the 2 larger trials with longer duration of follow-up demonstrating no benefit of aspirin (46,47). However, both of these studies enrolled only asymptomatic patients derived from population screening (not clinical populations) based on very mild decrements in ABI and thus represented relatively low-risk cohorts. The POPADAD (Prevention of Progression of Asymptomatic Diabetic Arterial Disease) study enrolled individuals with an ABI ≤0.99, whereas the Aspirin for Asymptomatic Atherosclerosis trial used a cutpoint of ABI ≤0.95 but calculated the ABI using the lower pedal pressure at the ankle. This method is in contrast to standard clinical practice (and this guideline) of using the higher pedal pressure at the ankle for determining ABI (46,47). These factors limit the generalizability of the results to patients with clinical PAD who are symptomatic and/or have lower ABI values and face a greater risk of ischemic events. The CLIPS (Critical Leg Ischemia Prevention Study) trial, which was the smallest of the 3 antiplatelet therapy trials reviewed, enrolled patients with more advanced PAD, defined by both symptoms and/or ABI values (ABI <0.85), and demonstrated a significant reduction in cardiovascular ischemic events among subjects randomized to aspirin (45). Of note, this trial was stopped early because of poor recruitment, with only 366 of a planned 2,000 patients enrolled. The 2009 meta-analysis of aspirin therapy for patients with PAD demonstrated a 34% risk reduction for nonfatal stroke among participants taking aspirin but no statistically significant reduction in overall cardiovascular events (51). This study included the CLIPS and POPADAD trials but not the Aspirin for Asymptomatic Atherosclerosis trial.
The recommended dose range of aspirin has been modified to 75 mg to 325 mg per day to reflect the doses studied in the aspirin clinical trials and in use in clinical practice. The 2005 recommendation of clopidogrel as an alternative to aspirin therapy is unchanged. No new clinical trials have directly compared aspirin monotherapy therapy with clopidogrel since the CAPRIE (Clopidogrel versus Aspirin in Patients at Risk of Ischemic Events) study demonstrated an incremental benefit of clopidogrel (43). On the basis of the findings of the CHARISMA (Clopidogrel for High Atherothrombotic Risk and Ischemic Stabilization, Management, and Avoidance) trial, it may be reasonable to consider combination antiplatelet therapy with aspirin plus clopidogrel for certain high-risk patients with PAD who are not considered at increased risk of bleeding (48,49,52). Selection of an antiplatelet regimen for the PAD patient should be individualized on the basis of tolerance and other clinical characteristics (i.e., bleeding risk) along with cost and guidance from regulatory agencies.
The WAVE (Warfarin Antiplatelet Vascular Evaluation) trial provided further evidence against the use of oral anticoagulation therapy in addition to antiplatelet therapy for prevention of cardiovascular events among patients with PAD, and the level of evidence is upgraded to B for this Class III recommendation (50).
The writing group emphasizes that selection of the optimal antiplatelet therapy and determination of optimum dosage in well-defined populations of patients with PAD are critical unanswered scientific questions. There is a need for additional data from large-scale RCTs and observational studies to investigate the efficacy and risk of antiplatelet medications across the spectrum of PAD defined according to symptom class (symptomatic versus asymptomatic) and objective measures of atherosclerosis severity (i.e., ABI value).
To date, no clinical trials have examined the efficacy of new antithrombotic medications such as prasugrel, ticagrelor, or vorapaxar to reduce ischemic events in patients with lower extremity PAD.
2.6.3 Recommendations for Critical Limb Ischemia: Endovascular and Open Surgical Treatment for Limb Salvage
The writing group has reviewed the results of the multicenter BASIL (Bypass Versus Angioplasty in Severe Ischaemia of the Leg) trial funded by the United Kingdom National Institute of Health Research and Health Technology Assessment Programme (54). During a 5-year period, 452 patients with severe limb ischemia (characterized by rest/night pain and tissue loss, such as skin ulceration and gangrene, and thus including patients defined by this PAD guideline syndrome term critical limb ischemia) were randomly assigned to an initial treatment strategy of either open surgery or balloon angioplasty. Major clinical outcomes evaluated in this trial were amputation-free survival and overall survival. The initial results published in 2005 indicated that in patients with severe limb ischemia due to infrainguinal disease, the short-term clinical outcomes between bypass surgery–first and balloon angioplasty–first were similar (54,55). These initial results showed that bypass surgery–first was one third more expensive and was associated with higher morbidity than balloon angioplasty–first.
The trial also initially suggested that after 2 years, patients treated with balloon angioplasty–first had increased overall survival rates and fewer amputations. However, this early finding was based on a post hoc analysis of a relatively small number of outcome events. Thus, more prolonged follow-up was necessary to confirm or refute this finding. The results of a 2.5-year follow-up have been published (54) and confirm that there was no significant difference in amputation-free survival and overall survival between the 2 treatment strategies. However, a bypass surgery–first approach was associated with a significant increase in overall survival of 7.3 months (95% CI: 1.2 to 13.4 months; p=0.02) and a trend toward improved amputation-free survival of 5.9 months (95% CI: 0.2 to 12.0 months; p=0.06) for those patients who survived for at least 2 years after randomization. In summary, for all patients in the trial, there was no significant difference between the 2 treatment strategies in amputation-free survival or overall survival. However, these data suggest that it is reasonable for a bypass surgery–first approach to be considered for these carefully selected patients to prolong amputation-free survival and overall survival. This study has also confirmed that the outcomes following prosthetic bypass were extremely poor. Balloon angioplasty, when possible, may be preferable to prosthetic bypass even in patients with a life expectancy of >2 years (54).
5 Aneurysm of the Abdominal Aorta, Its Branch Vessels, and the Lower Extremities
220.127.116.11 Recommendations for Management Overview
Although the methods of treatment for infrarenal abdominal aortic and iliac artery aneurysms have changed little over the past 5 years, a greater understanding of the appropriate application of these technologies and techniques has been gained. Overall, open and endovascular repair techniques have demonstrated clinical equivalence over time, with similar rates of overall and aneurysm-related mortality and morbidity.
For patients with an infrarenal AAA who are likely to live >2 years and who are good risk surgical candidates, open or endovascular intervention is indicated. There is no long-term advantage to either technique of aneurysm repair. This was clearly demonstrated in 2 large multicenter, randomized, prospective studies. The EVAR (United Kingdom Endovascular Aneurysm Repair) trial evaluated the outcomes of patients ≥60 years of age who were appropriate candidates for either endovascular or open repair of infrarenal AAAs that were at least 5.5 cm in diameter based on computed tomographic imaging (56). Over 5 years, 1,252 patients were enrolled and randomly assigned to either stent graft or open aneurysm repair. The primary outcomes measures were all-cause mortality and aneurysm-related mortality, and data were analyzed on an intention-to-treat basis. Follow-up was a minimum of 5 years or until death, with a median postprocedural follow-up of 6 years. The treatment groups, which were 90.7% male with a mean age of 74 years, were uniform with regard to comorbidities. There was a significant difference in procedural mortality between endovascular and open repair (1.8% endovascular repair versus 4.3% open repair, p=0.02, adjusted odds ratio: 0.39; 95% CI: 0.18 to 0.87). Over time, this initial benefit was not sustained. Over the period of observation, all-cause mortality in the endovascular group was 7.5 deaths per 100 person-years compared with 7.7 deaths per 100 person-years in the open-surgery group (p=0.72; adjusted HR: 1.03; 95% CI: 0.86 to 1.23). Aneurysm-related mortality was also similar, with 1.0 death per 100 person-years in the stent graft group compared with 1.2 deaths per 100 person-years in the open-surgery group (p=0.73; adjusted HR: 0.92; 95% CI: 0.57 to 1.49). Reintervention was required in 5.1% of patients treated with an endograft but in only 1.7% of those who underwent open surgery (p=0.001), underscoring the need for careful evaluation of the stent graft over time (56).
These findings were consistent with those reported in another multicenter, randomized, prospective trial (58). The DREAM (Dutch Randomized Endovascular Aneurysm Repair) trial evaluated the long-term outcomes of patients with infrarenal aortic aneurysms ≥5 cm who were randomized to either endovascular or open surgical treatment. The primary outcome measure was all-cause mortality. There were no differences in demographic characteristics or comorbidities between the 178 patients assigned to open surgery and the 173 patients assigned to endovascular intervention. Similar to the EVAR trial, the majority of patients in the DREAM trial were male (91.7%), with a mean age of 70 years. The minimum follow-up was 5 years, and the median was 6.4 years. Over this period of time the mortality rate of the 2 groups was not different. The overall survival rate was 69.9% in the open-surgery group and 68.9% among those undergoing stent graft repair (difference: 1.0%; 95% CI: −8.8 to 10.8; p=0.97). Although cardiovascular disease was the single most common cause of death, it accounted for only 33% of the deaths in the open-surgery group and 27.6% of the deaths in the endovascular treatment group. Deaths from noncardiovascular causes, such as cancer, were more common. During the follow-up period, freedom from secondary intervention was more common in the open-repair group compared with the endovascular treatment group (difference 11.5%; 95% CI: 2.0 to 21.0; p=0.03) (58).
More recently, a third trial has buttressed the results of the EVAR and DREAM trials. The OVER (Open Surgery Versus Endovascular Repair Veterans Affairs Cooperative Study) trial randomized 881 veterans with AAA ≥5 cm or an associated iliac artery aneurysm ≥3 cm or an AAA ≥4.5 cm with rapid enlargement to surgical or endovascular repair (60). The primary outcome was long-term, all-cause mortality. As with both the DREAM and EVAR trials, there were no differences in baseline demographic characteristics. The trial participants were overwhelmingly male (>99%), white (87%), and current or former smokers (95%). Over a mean follow-up of 1.8 years, there was no statistical difference in mortality, 7% versus 9.8% for endovascular and surgical repair, respectively (p=0.13). Interestingly, there were no differences in the rates of secondary therapeutic procedures or aneurysm-related hospitalizations between the groups, because increases in surgical complications offset the number of secondary endovascular repairs.
As with the EVAR trial, the DREAM and OVER trials confirmed that the early benefits of endovascular aneurysm repair, including a lower procedural mortality, are not sustained. Therefore, the method of aneurysm repair that is deemed to be most appropriate for each individual patient should be chosen (56,58,60). Endovascular treatment should not be used in patients who do not meet the established anatomical criteria or who cannot comply with the required follow-up imaging requirements. Patients require either computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging of the engrafted segment of the aortoiliac segment at 1 month, 6 months, and then yearly to confirm that the graft has not moved and there are no endoleaks that have resulted in repressurization and/or growth of the aneurysm sac. If patients cannot be offered the indicated long-term follow-up evaluation and treatment because of the lack of access to required imaging modalities or inability to appropriately treat problematic endoleaks when identified, then endovascular repair should not be considered the optimal treatment method. Open surgical repair is indicated for those patients who do not meet the established criteria for endovascular treatment.
A patient whose general physical condition is deemed unsuitable for open aneurysm repair may not benefit from endovascular repair. This was suggested in a secondary protocol of the EVAR trial (56). The EVAR 2 trial randomized 404 patients with infrarenal aortic aneurysms of at least 5.5 cm with comorbidities that prevented open repair to receive either endovascular treatment or no intervention (61). One hundred ninety-seven patients were randomized to the endovascular treatment group and 179 actually underwent stent graft placement. Of 207 patients randomly assigned to the no-treatment group, 70 had aneurysm repair. The primary outcome was death from any cause. The patients were followed up for a minimum of 5 years or until death. The median follow-up period was 3.1 years. Thirty-day operative mortality was 7.3%. Although a significant difference in aneurysm-related mortality between the 2 groups was identified (3.6 deaths per 100 person-years for endovascular therapy versus 7.3 deaths per 100 person-years without treatment, adjusted HR: 0.53; 95% CI: 0.32 to 0.89; p=0.02), this was not associated with longer survival. During follow-up there was no significant difference in overall mortality between the 2 groups (21.0 deaths per 100 person-years in the endovascular group versus 22.1 deaths per 100 person-years in the no-treatment group; HR for endovascular repair: 0.99; CI: 0.78 to 1.27; p=0.97). Although there was no observed benefit to the endovascular treatment of infrarenal AAAs in patients whose physical health was considered too poor to withstand open aneurysm repair in this trial, optimal management of this challenging patient population has not been definitively established. Additional studies are required to better define the role of endovascular aneurysm repair in patients with significantly impaired physical health who are considered to be at high surgical or anesthetic risk (61). d to better define the role of endovascular aneurysm repair in patients with significantly impaired physical health who are considered to be at high surgical or anesthetic risk (61).
American College of Cardiology Foundation
David R. Holmes, Jr., MD, FACC, President
John C. Lewin, MD, Chief Executive Officer
Janet Wright, MD, FACC, Senior Vice President, Science and Quality
Charlene May, Senior Director, Science and Clinical Policy
American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association
Lisa Bradfield, CAE, Director, Science and Clinical Policy
Debjani Mukherjee, MPH, Associate Director, Evidence-Based Medicine
Maria Koinis, Specialist, Science and Clinical Policy
American Heart Association
Ralph L. Sacco, MS, MD, FAAN, FAHA, President
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↵⁎ Writing group members are required to recuse themselves from voting on sections to which their specific relationships with industry and other entities may apply; see Appendix 1 for recusal information.
↵† ACCF/AHA Representative.
↵‡ Society of Interventional Radiology Representative.
↵§ Society for Vascular Surgery Representative.
↵∥ Society for Vascular Medicine Representative.
↵¶ ACCF/AHA Task Force on Practice Guidelines Liaison.
↵# ACCF/AHA Task Force on Performance Measures Liaison.
↵⁎⁎ Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions Representative.
Developed in Collaboration With the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, Society of Interventional Radiology, Society for Vascular Medicine, and Society for Vascular Surgery
This document was approved by the American College of Cardiology Foundation Board of Trustees and the American Heart Association Science Advisory and Coordinating Committee in July 2011.
The American College of Cardiology requests that this document be cited as follows: Rooke TW, Hirsch AT, Misra S, Sidawy AN, Beckman JA, Findeiss LK, Golzarian J, Gornik HL, Halperin JL, Jaff MR, Moneta GL, Olin JW, Stanley JC, White CJ, White JV, Zierler RE. 2011 ACCF/AHA focused update of the guideline for the management of patients with peripheral artery disease (updating the 2005 guideline): a report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. J Am Coll Cardiol 2011;58:2020–45.
This article is copublished in Circulation, Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions, the Journal of Vascular Surgery, and Vascular Medicine.
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