Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology
Interventional Radiology - Original Article

Mechanical rotational thrombectomy in long femoropopliteal artery and bypass occlusions: risk factors for periprocedural peripheral embolization


Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, University Hospital of Schleswig Holstein, Lübeck, Germany


Institute for Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology/Neuroradiology, SANA Hospital, Lübeck, Germany

Diagn Interv Radiol 2021; 27: 249-256
DOI: 10.5152/dir.2021.20100
Read: 495 Downloads: 158 Published: 01 March 2021

We aimed to examine lesion characteristics influencing technical outcome and periprocedural peripheral embolization (PPE) during percutaneous mechanical rotational thrombectomy (PMT) of long femoropopliteal artery and bypass occlusions. 

Retrospectively, 65 consecutive patients (43 male patients, mean age 70±12 years; Rutherford category I–III), undergoing PMT (Rotarex®, Straub Medical AG) with acutely/subacutely occluded femoropopliteal arteries/bypasses were included. Occlusions (mean length, 217±98 mm) were treated by PMT followed by percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) plus drug-coated balloon or PTA plus stenting/stentgrafting. Technical success was defined as residual stenosis <30%. Follow-up included duplex ultrasound and ankle-brachial index (ABI) after 12 months. Endpoints were technical success, complications, improvement of Rutherford category, ABI, and patency (re-stenosis <50%). The influence of lesion length, duration, and thrombus density (measured in preinterventional computed tomography angiography) on technical success and PPE was analyzed. 

Technical success was 18% (12/65) after PMT alone, 92% (60/65) after additional means. Four patients (6%) underwent bypass surgery and one patient (2%) amputation. PPE occurred in 11% (7/65). During the 12-month follow-up, three patients (5%) were lost to follow-up. ABI increased from baseline 0.5±0.12 to 0.81±0.14 (p = 0.001) and Rutherford category increased by at least one level in 57 patients at 12-month follow-up (clinical success, 88%). At 12 months, primary patency was 57.4% (95% CI, 45.8%–68.9%) and secondary patency was 75.0% (95% CI, 59.8%–72.3%). As risk factors for PPE, we identified lesion length >200 mm (15%; 6/39; OR 4.5; 95% CI, 0.5–40; p = 0.014) and thrombus density ≤45 HU (20%; 2/10; OR 3.0; 95% CI, 0.2–38.9; p = 0.05). No significant relation between risk factors and technical success was found.

PMT followed by PTA or implantation of stent (grafts) appears to be effective and safe for revascularization of acute/subacute long occlusions. Thrombus density <45 HU and lesion length above 20 cm represent risk factors for PPE during PMT.

You may cite this article as: Stahlberg E, Anton S, Sieren M, Wegner F, Barkhausen J, Goltz JP. Mechanical rotational thrombectomy in long femoropopliteal artery and bypass occlusions: risk factors for periprocedural peripheral embolization. Diagn Interv Radiol 2021; 27: 249–256

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