Conference Coverage

If a saphenous graft is available, treat limb threatening ischemia surgically


AT AHA 2022

Level 1 evidence provided for intervention choice

Overall, BEST-CLI showed that both surgical and endovascular revascularizations are effective and safe, according to Dr. Farber. As a result, he suggested that both can be considered even if a saphenous vein is available when specific patient characteristics make one more attractive than another.

Yet, in a general population with an available saphenous vein, these data provide “level 1 evidence” that a surgical approach should be the dominant choice, he added.

Dr. Matthew Menard, codirector of endovascular surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston. Ted Bosworth/MDedge News

Dr. Matthew Menard

A quality of life (QOL) substudy of BEST-CLI did not challenge this conclusion. Rather, the main finding was that restoring circulation by either approach has a major favorable impact on patient well-being, according to Matthew Menard, MD, codirector of endovascular surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston.

In this substudy, presented separately from the primary BEST-CLI results, that analysis confirmed that baseline QOL was extremely poor, whether measured with a disease specific instrument such as VascuQol, or generic instruments, such as SF-12.

Surgical or endovascular treatment produced clinically meaningful and sustained improvements in every QOL measure employed, according to Dr. Menard, and this was true in either cohort.

Results not necessarily relevant to all

These data are likely relevant to the patients evaluated, but “it is important to consider who made it into this trial,” according to Naomi M. Hamburg, MD, section chief of vascular biology at Boston University.

Dr. Naomi M. Hamburg, section chief of vascular biology at Boston University Ted Bosworth/MDedge News

Dr. Naomi M. Hamburg

Not least, patients had to be candidates for either surgical or endovascular repair to get into the study, omitting those patients not deemed by the investigators to be suited for either.

In addition, Dr. Hamburg pointed out that there was a low enrollment of Blacks (20%) and women (28%), two groups for whom CTLI is a common condition.

Lastly, Dr Hamburg questioned whether specific types of anatomy might be better suited to one procedure relative to another, a variable not considered in this study. Reassured by Dr. Farber that this will be explored in subsequent analyses of BEST-CLI data, Dr. Hamburg expressed interest in learning the results.

Dr. Hamburg was among those who spoke about the growing urgency to optimize strategies for early diagnosis and treatment of CTLI. She plugged the PAD National Action Plan as one of the efforts to thwart the coming wave of CTLI expected from the steep climb in the prevalence of diabetes in the United States.

Dr. Farber reported a financial relationship with Sanifit Therapeutics. The study was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, but received additional support from multiple pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Menard reported a financial relationship with Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Hamburg reported financial relationships with Acceleron Pharma, Merck, NovoNordisk, and Sanifit.


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