A recent meta-analysis from the European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery reviewed the existing body of literature on venous arterialization. The article, entitled “Meta-Analysis of the clinical effectiveness of venous arterialization for salvage of critically ischaemic limbs”1, reviewed a total of 56 studies and analyzed data from seven patient series, comprising 228 patients.
Overall 1-year foot preservation was 71% (95% confidence interval: 64-77%), and 1-year secondary patency was 46% (95% CI 39-53%).
The large majority of patients who avoided major amputation experienced successful wound healing, disappearance of rest pain, and absence of serious complications.
The authors found that “on the basis of limited evidence, venous arterialization may be considered as a viable alternative before major amputation is undertaken in patients with ‘inoperable’ chronic critical leg ischemia”.