Limb salvage after infrainguinal bypass graft failure

Zachary K. Baldwin, Benjamin J. Pearce, Michael A. Curi, Tina R. Desai, James F. McKinsey, Hisham S. Bassiouny, Daniel Katz, Bruce L. Gewertz, Lewis B. Schwartz, Peter K. Henke, Timothy Baxter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the outcome of patients in whom an infrainguinal bypass graft failed. Methods: This was a retrospective analysis of consecutive patients undergoing infrainguinal bypass grafting in a single institution over 8 years. Results: Six hundred thirty-one infrainguinal bypass grafts were placed in 578 limbs in 503 patients during the study period. The indication for surgery was limb-threatening ischemia in 533 patients (85%); nonautologous conduits were used in 259 patients (41%), and 144 (23%) were repeat operations. After a mean follow-up of 28 ± 1 months (median, 23 months; range, 0-99 months), 167 grafts (26%) had failed secondarily. The rate of limb salvage in patients with graft failure was poor, only 50% ± 5% at 2 years after failure. The 2-year limb salvage rate depended on the initial indication for bypass grafting: 100% in patients with claudication (n = 16), 55% ± 8% in patients with rest pain (n = 49), and 34% ± 6% in patients with tissue loss (n = 73; P < .001). The prospect for limb salvage also depended on the duration that the graft remained patent. Early graft failure (<30 days; n = 25) carried a poor prognosis, with 2-year limb salvage of only 25% ± 10%; limb salvage was 53% ± 5% after intermediate graft failure (<2 years, n = 110) and 79% ± 10% after late failure (> 2 years, n = 15; P = .04). Multivariate analysis revealed shorter patency interval before failure (P = .006), use of warfarin sodium (Coumadin) postoperatively (P = .006), and infrapopliteal distal anastomosis (P = .01) as significant predictors for ultimate limb loss. Conclusion: The overall prognosis for limb salvage in patients with failed infrainguinal bypass grafts is poor, particularly in patients with grafts placed because of tissue loss and those with early graft failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)951-957
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of vascular surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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