Journal 7, July 2003pages: 501-505
Background: Lower limb critical ischemia is a major problem in dialysed patients.
Objective: To evaluate the results of revascularization procedures, amputations and prosthetic rehabilitation in dialysed amputees.
Methods: Major amputation was carried out in 48 patients (4.5% of the dialysis population), and 24 patients entered the rehabilitation program. Widespread arterial calcification was common and led to falsely elevated ankle-brachial pressure indices in 9 of 14 limbs. Eight patients underwent revascularization. Subsequent major amputation was carried out 4 ± 4.5 months after the revascularization (above knee in 5 patients and below knee in 3). Of the 16 patients who underwent primary amputation, only 2 were above-knee amputees. Seven patients with toe or metatarsal amputation went on to a major amputation 1.8 ± 1.2 months after the distal amputation.
Results: No differences were found between diabetic and non-diabetic patients regarding the number of revascularization operations performed, the level of major amputation, or overall survival. Prosthetic rehabilitation was considered successful in 12 patients, partially successful in 8, and failed in 4 patients. Patient survival time was shortest in those patients with failed rehabilitation. A younger age confirmed favorable rehabilitation results, while long-standing diabetics and bilateral amputees were poor rehabilitation candidates. Patients who underwent primary amputation had more successful rehabilitation. A comparison between 24 dialysed amputees and 138 non-uremic amputees revealed similar rehabilitation results, although hospitalization time was longer in the dialysed patients.
Conclusions: Early definitive therapy is essential when dealing with critical ischemia. After diagnostic angiography, proximal revascularization should be performed where feasible. Primary amputation is indicated in patients with extensive foot infection or gangrene. Prosthetic rehabilitation is warranted in most dialysed amputees.