Laser atherectomy for infrapopliteal lesions in patients with critical limb ischemia

Damianos G. Kokkinidis, Stefanos Giannopoulos, Omar Jawaid, David Cantu, Gagan D. Singh, Ehrin Armstrong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Infrapopliteal (IP) lesions are common in patients with critical limb ischemia (CLI). Optimal revascularization strategies including the use of adjunctive atherectomy have the potential to improve the outcomes for these patients. Objective: To compare laser atherectomy (LA) vs. balloon angioplasty alone for the treatment of IP lesions in patients with CLI. Methods: This was a two-center retrospective study of patients with CLI who underwent endovascular interventions for IP lesions. One and 2-year target lesion revascularization (TLR) was the primary outcome. One and 2-year limb loss and major adverse limb events (MALE) were secondary outcomes. Propensity score matching was performed. A Cox regression analysis was used to compare 1- and 2-year outcomes of the two groups. Logistic regression analysis was used to compare the two groups in terms of bail-out stenting and procedural complications. Results: A total of 313 patients with CLI were included; 76 were treated with LA. There was a high degree of lesion complexity in both groups. Consistent with the application of LA in the most complex lesions, lesions in the LA group were significantly longer (165.7 mm vs. 94.1 mm; p < 0.001) and were more frequently TASC C/D (82% vs. 45%; p < 0.001). In-stent restenosis (ISR) lesions were also more common among the LA group (14% vs. 0.4%; p < 0.001). Thrombotic lesions were present in 11% of the LA group vs. 4% in the no LA group (p = 0.04). CTOs were also more common in the LA group (58% vs. 43%; p = 0.024). After propensity matching, there was no difference in the 1 or 2-year TLR rates between the two groups. Similarly, there were no differences between the two groups in terms of 1 or 2-year limb loss or 2-year major adverse limb events. Conclusions: LA is safe and effective for IP lesions in patients with CLI. There was a higher baseline angiographic complexity in patients treated with LA, suggesting that operators tend to use LA for the treatment of more complicated lesions. There was no difference among the two groups in 1- or 2-year outcomes of TLR of major amputation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCardiovascular Revascularization Medicine
StateAccepted/In press - 2020


  • Below the knee arteries
  • Chronic total occlusions
  • Critical limb ischemia
  • Infrapopliteal disease
  • Laser atherectomy
  • Peripheral artery disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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