From the Journals

Claudication, CLI differ significantly in hospital readmission, costs, mortality



Patients treated for claudication vs. critical limb ischemia (CLI) differed significantly in their initial cost of admission, readmission costs, length of stay (LOS), days to readmission, and mortality (during initial admission, as well as any admission), according to the results of a database analysis of more than 90,000 patients in the Nationwide Readmission Database.

A hospital corridor ©Andrei Malov/Thinkstock

Readmissions were influenced not only by the admission diagnosis and intervention performed “but more importantly and significantly by the patient’s characteristics such as age, sex, CCI [Charlson Comorbidity Index], and various other demographic factors,” wrote Rennier A. Martinez, MD, of JFK Medical Center, Atlantis, Fla., and his colleagues. The report was published in the October issue of Annals of Vascular Surgery.

The study used the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) codes and queried the Nationwide Readmission Database for 2013 and 2014 for all 92,769 adult patients admitted with the principal diagnosis of claudication (ICD-9 code 440.21; n = 33,055 patients) or CLI (ICD-9 code 440.22e440.24; n = 59,714 patients) who underwent percutaneous angioplasty (ICD-9 code 39.50, 39.90), peripheral bypass (ICD-9 code 39.29), or aortofemoral bypass (ICD-9 code 39.25).

The 30-day readmission rates were 9.0% for claudication and 19.3% for CLI. Similarly, the any readmission rates were 21.5% and 40.4% for claudication vs. CLI.

Significant differences were found for claudication and CLI, respectively, on initial cost of admission ($18,548 vs. $29,148), readmission costs ($14,726 vs. $17,681), LOS (4 days vs. 9 days), days to readmission (73 days vs. 59 days), mortality during initial admission (256 vs. 1,363), and mortality during any admission (538 vs. 3,838), all P less than .001.

Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis found that claudication, CLI, angioplasty, peripheral bypass, aortofemoral bypass, female sex, age younger than 65, Charlson Comorbidity Index, LOS, and primary expected payer status were all significant predictors of 30-day and overall readmissions at varying degrees.

The researchers also found that the five most common disease readmission groups were other vascular procedures (12.6%), amputation of lower limb except toes (6.3%), sepsis (5.4%), heart failure (4.9%), and postoperative or other device infections (4.8%) (Ann Vasc Surg. 2018;52:96-107).

The increased costs and higher levels of morbidity and mortality seen with CLI vs. claudication are not surprising given previous research showing that there are higher rates of complications in patients with CLI. A previous review showed there was a threefold higher risk of myocardial infarction, stroke, and vascular death in patients with CLI compared with patients with claudication, according Dr. Martinez and his colleagues.

“Readmissions after lower extremity procedures for patients admitted for claudication or CLI are influenced not only by the admission diagnosis and intervention performed but more importantly and significantly by the patient’s characteristics such as age, sex, CCI, and various other demographic factors,” the researchers wrote. “It is paramount to continue to perform this kind of study to better identify patients at risk for readmission and work toward prevention,” they concluded.

Dr. Martinez and his colleagues did not report disclosures, but indicated that the study did not receive any outside funding.

SOURCE: Martinez RA et al. Ann Vasc Surg. 2018;52:96-107.

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