The Presence of a Pathologic Perforator May be Predictive of Central Venous Pathology and Multilevel Disease in Severe Chronic Venous Insufficiency
INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND:The treatment of a refluxing perforator is indicated in the setting of severe chronic venous insufficiency, but there are limited data on the presence of multilevel disease in these patients. This study sought to evaluate whether the presence of a pathologic perforator is predictive of the presence of central venous pathology. METHODS:This study was a retrospective review of the institutional vascular quality initiative (VQI) database. Consecutive patient-limbs were identified who underwent intervention of refluxing perforators. The patients who underwent imaging, including MRI or CT (Group A) were compared to those who did not undergo imaging (Group B). The treated limbs in Group A were also compared to the contralateral limbs as an internal control. Anatomical findings on imaging were analyzed by two independent investigators. The primary outcome was the presence and degree of central venous stenosis as measured by an orthogonal diameter reduction of > 50% by axial imaging. Secondary outcomes included demographic and clinical differences between the two groups, frequency of central venous intervention, and duration of ulcer healing. Standard statistical analysis was performed. RESULTS:Ninety-three patient-limbs underwent treatment of a pathologic perforator, with 30 in Group A and 63 in Group B. The following demographic and clinical variables were higher in Group A compared to Group B: Male gender, BMI, deep venous thrombosis history, recent or active anticoagulation use, perforator diameter, Clinical Etiology Anatomy Pathophysiology class 4, 5 or 6, and Venous Clinical Severity Score. Radiographic analysis of Group A revealed concordance of a treated pathological perforator with an ipsilateral central venous stenosis in 53.3% of patients, and a higher frequency of common iliac vein stenosis (50% vs 21.4%, P = 0.024) and external iliac vein stenosis (20% vs 0%, P = 0.012) compared to the contralateral limbs. When separated by left or right limb, the left limbs exhibited a greater degree of common iliac vein stenosis as compared to the contralateral limbs (50.7Â±20.9% vs 16.3Â±16.5%, P < 0.001) as well as a greater frequency of >50% common iliac vein stenosis (46.7% vs 13.3%, P = 0.046). The right limbs exhibited a greater frequency of > 50% external iliac vein stenosis as compared to contralateral limbs (33.3% vs 0%, P = 0.022). CONCLUSIONS:This study suggests that patients with severe chronic venous insufficiency who undergo treatment for a pathologic perforator may have additional ipsilateral central venous pathology, supporting the presence of multilevel disease. Additional axial imaging might unmask central venous pathology and provide another option for treatment.
Assessment of Quality of Life Changes in Lower Extremity Lymphedema Patients Using an Advanced Pneumatic Compression Device at Home
OBJECTIVE:Lymphedema is associated with significant morbidity and healthcare resource usage. Conventional therapy efficacy is limited with poor surgical salvage options. Preliminary studies demonstrated advanced pneumatic compression devices (APCD) improve clinical outcomes, however limited evidence regarding their role in healthcare cost mitigation or health-related quality of life (QOL) is available. METHODS:) between February 2016 and March 2019. Patients were assessed at baseline, 12, 24, and 52 weeks from enrollment by limb circumference, QOL assessments (Short Form-36 [SF-36] and Lymphedema Quality of Life [LYMQOL]), device compliance, cellulitic episodes and lymphedema-related health care use since the previous visit. Primary endpoints of interest were QOL at baseline compared to 12 weeks as well as unscheduled lymphedema-related clinic visits and hospital admissions at 52 weeks. Secondary endpoints included change in limb girth and QOL at 52 weeks compared to baseline. RESULTS:178 patients with LE lymphedema were prospectively enrolled; this interim report represents the first 74 subjects to complete 52 weeks of APCD treatment. The cohort was predominately male (94.6%), elderly (mean 67 years), obese (median BMI 32), and most commonly enrolled for treatment of phlebolymphedema (71.6%) with largely bilateral LE involvement (91.9%). There was no significant difference in QOL at 12 weeks. However, at 52 weeks, LYMQOL was significantly improved from baseline (6.3 vs. 7.4, p<0.0001) and SF-36 demonstrated significant improvement from baseline in the Physical Component (38.6 vs. 40.8; p=0.035) with an effect towards overall improvement as well in the Mental Component (49.9 vs. 51.3; p=0.549). Limb circumference was significantly reduced at 12 weeks from baseline (28.5cm vs. 27.7cm; p=0.0005) in the most affected LE, and this reduction remained stable for the study duration. APCD treatment was associated with a significant reduction in cellulitic incidence (24.3% vs. 8.1%, p=0.005), lymphedema-related clinic visits (2.2 vs. 0.7; p=0.02), urgent care visits (1.2 vs. 0.3; p=0.004), and hospital admissions (0.5 vs. 0.1; p=0.047) per patient. CONCLUSIONS:The FLX APCD results in initial significant limb girth reduction as early as 12 weeks and a steady sustained improvement in health-related QOL up to one year. The latter is likely reflective of a decrease in cellulitis episodes and fewer associated lymphedema-related clinic, urgent care visits and hospital admissions.
Antegrade Superficial Femoral Artery Access for Lower Extremity Arterial Disease is Safe and Effective in the Outpatient Setting
INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND:Antegrade superficial femoral artery (SFA) access for peripheral artery disease reduces the time, radiation and contrast required with contralateral common femoral access (CFA). Yet, this technique remains underutilized in the treatment of SFA, popliteal and tibial disease, and there remains limited data on the safety and effectiveness of antegrade SFA access in the outpatient setting. METHODS:A retrospective review of lower extremity peripheral arterial interventions in our office-based endovascular suite was conducted from 2013 to 2018. Interventions necessitating CFA access such as iliac, common femoral or deep femoral artery revascularization were excluded (n = 206). In addition, interventions potentially requiring large sheaths not amenable to SFA access (e.g. popliteal aneurysm) were excluded. Relevant demographic and treatment variables including postoperative complications were abstracted. RESULTS:We identified 718 patients, who underwent revascularization of the SFA, popliteal and tibial arteries. Antegrade SFA access was chosen in 448 patients (62.4%) with the remaining 270 patients having retrograde CFA access. Antegrade SFA access was achieved primarily with a 4 French sheath, while a majority of retrograde CFA interventions utilized a 6 French sheath for access (87.7% vs. 69.5%, p <0.001). Significantly less fluoroscopy (9.5 min vs 16.4 min, p <0.001) and contrast (25.4 mL vs. 38.5 mL, p <0.001) were used during SFA access compared with retrograde access. Technical success was achieved in 93.2% with antegrade SFA versus 94.8% retrograde CFA access (p 0.42). The overall rate of complications was low for both cohorts (2.7% vs. 3.7%, p 0.78) and there were no statistical differences in access-site complications (1.1% vs. 1.5%, p 0.94), hematoma (0.7% vs. 1.1%, p 0.84) and pseudoaneurysm (0.4% vs. 0%, p 0.98) between techniques. CONCLUSIONS:Percutaneous antegrade SFA access can be performed safely in the outpatient setting, and remains an effective alternative to retrograde CFA access with significantly less utilization of fluoroscopy and contrast.
Closed Incision Negative Pressure Wound Therapy May Decrease Wound Complications in Major Lower Extremity Amputations
OBJECTIVE:Wound complications after major lower extremity amputations are a cause of significant morbidity in vascular surgery patients. Recent publications have demonstrated the efficacy of the closed incision negative pressure dressing at preventing surgical site infections (SSIs); however, there are limited data on its use in major lower extremity amputations. This study sought to assess if closed incision negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) would reduce the risk of complications as compared to a standard dressing in patients with peripheral vascular disease undergoing major lower extremity amputation. METHODS:system (Acelity L.P. Inc., San Antonio, TX, USA) was applied intraoperatively at the discretion of the operating surgeon and removed 5 to 7 days postoperatively. The standard group received a non-adherent dressing with an overlying compression dressing. Amputation incisions were assessed and wound complications were recorded. Student's t-test and two-sample proportion z-test were used for statistical analysis. A P value < .05 was considered statistically significant. RESULTS:For comorbidities, there was a higher incidence of tobacco use in the NPWT as compared to the standard group (44% vs. 13%; P = .011), as well as trends towards increased prior amputations, anemia, hyperlipidemia, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder in the NPWT group. For risk factors, there were more dirty wounds in the NPWT as compared to the standard group (52% vs. 26%; P = .046). For outcomes, there were fewer wound complications in the NPWT as compared to the standard group (13% vs. 39%; P = .037). The types of wound-related complications in the NPWT group included one wound dehiscence with a deep SSI, one superficial SSI and one incision line necrosis. In the standard group, there were 4 wound dehiscences with deep SSI, 3 superficial SSIs, 4 incision line necroses and 1 stump hematoma. The rates of perioperative mortality and amputation revision did not differ significantly between the NPWT and the standard group (3% vs. 4% and 4.3% vs. 10%, respectively). CONCLUSIONS:Closed incision negative pressure wound therapy may decrease the incidence of wound complications in vascular patients undergoing major lower extremity amputation. This held true even amongst a population that was potentially at higher risk. This therapy may be considered for use in lower extremity major amputations.
Arterial thromboembolism associated with COVID-19 and elevated D-dimer levels [Case Report]
The novel coronavirus 2019 (SARS-CoV-2) was first identified in January 2020 and has since evolved into a pandemic affecting >200 countries. The severity of presentation is variable and carries a mortality between 1% and 3%. We continue to learn about the virus and the resulting acute respiratory illness and hypercoagulability; however, much remains unknown. In our early experience in a high-volume center, we report a series of four cases of acute peripheral artery ischemia in patients with COVID-19 in the setting of elevated D-dimer levels.
In Well-Selected Patients With a Femoral Deep Vein Thrombosis Central Venous Imaging May Identify Additional Iliocaval Disease
OBJECTIVE/UNASSIGNED:Patients who present acutely with a femoral deep vein thrombosis (DVT) diagnosed by ultrasound are often treated with anticoagulation and instructed to follow-up electively. This study sought to assess whether obtaining axial imaging of the central venous system results in the identification of additional iliocaval pathology warranting treatment. METHODS/UNASSIGNED:This study was a retrospective review of a prospectively maintained registry from November 2014 through April 2017 with follow-up through March 2020. Consecutive patients with a diagnosis of femoral DVT diagnosed by ultrasound were evaluated; those who underwent axial imaging of the iliocaval system (Group A) were compared to those who did not undergo imaging of the central veins (Group B). The primary outcome was the performance of any percutaneous central venous intervention. Secondary outcomes included the extent of DVT identified on duplex and after axial imaging, follow-up duplex patency and persistence of severe symptoms. RESULTS/UNASSIGNED:Eighty patients presented with an ultrasound diagnosis of a femoral vein DVT. Mean follow-up was 551 Â± 502 days. Group A comprised 24 patients (30%) and Group B comprised 56 patients (70%). Baseline demographics did not differ significantly between the 2 groups. After duplex imaging, Group A exhibited an increased prevalence of DVT in the common femoral vein. After central imaging, Group A exhibited an increased prevalence of DVT in the iliocaval veins. The number of patients who underwent invasive treatment differed significantly between the 2 groups, Group A 16/24 (67%) vs. Group B 9/56 (16%), P < 0.0001. The number of patients that demonstrated duplex patency and had persistent symptoms on follow-up did not differ significantly. CONCLUSIONS/UNASSIGNED:Patients with an ultrasound diagnosis of femoral DVT may have additional iliocaval pathology warranting intervention. Well-selected imaging of the central veins may reveal a more complete picture, potentially altering management.
Radiofrequency and laser vein ablation for patients receiving warfarin anticoagulation is safe, effective, and durable
OBJECTIVE:The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy, durability, and safety of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) of the great saphenous vein (GSV) and small saphenous vein (SSV) to treat symptomatic venous reflux in patients receiving therapeutic anticoagulation. METHODS:tests, Fisher exact test, Kaplan-Meier curves, and Cox proportional hazard modeling. RESULTS:There were 100 procedures performed in 65 patients receiving anticoagulation and 127 procedures in 89 control patients. Mean follow-up time was 467Â days. The most common indications for anticoagulation were atrial fibrillation (52%), remote DVT (29%), and mechanical heart valves (8%). Patients receiving anticoagulation were on average older (67Â years vs 52Â years), were more likely to be male (51% vs 27%), and had higher rates of coronary disease (9% vs 0%) and hypertension (55% vs 20%), although they were more likely to have never smoked (86% vs 69%). There were 127 RFA procedures (56%) and 100 EVLA procedures (44%); 189 procedures treated the GSV or its tributaries (83%), and 38 treated the SSV (17%). At 1Â year, the target vessel remained ablated after 96% of procedures performed with anticoagulation and in 99% of controls; at 18Â months, rates were 92% vs 95% (PÂ = .96). Rates of persistent ablation did not differ significantly by vessel treated (PÂ = .28), EVLA vs RFA (PÂ = .36), or use of antiplatelet therapy (PÂ = .92). One patient had bleeding from a phlebectomy site 2Â days postprocedurally when supratherapeutic on warfarin; this was controlled with pressure. DVT in the ipsilateral leg occurred within 90Â days after 1 of 100 (1%) procedures in patients receiving anticoagulation and 2 of 127 (1.6%) procedures in control patients; endothermal heat-induced thrombosis rates were similarly 1 of 100 (1%) procedures in patients receiving anticoagulation and 1 of 127 (0.8%) in control patients. CONCLUSIONS:This is the largest series to date reporting >30-day follow-up for patients undergoing venous ablation procedures while receiving anticoagulation and the longest follow-up reported of any series. Durability, safety, and efficacy of vein ablation in patients receiving anticoagulation are comparable to those in control patients. Anticoagulation should not be considered a contraindication to endothermal ablation of the GSV or SSV for symptomatic venous reflux.
High Prevalence and Mortality Associated with Upper Extremity Deep Venous Thrombosis in Hospitalized Patients at a Tertiary Care Center
OBJECTIVE:MATERIAL AND METHODS: This is a single tertiary care center retrospective cohort study of all consecutive inpatients diagnosed with acute VTE from June 2015 to December 2015. During this period, 4495 patients underwent venous duplex examination (622 UE and 3873 LE), identifying 83 inpatient DVTs. Chronic DVT as well as those diagnosed in the outpatient population were excluded. DVTs were classified as either provoked or unprovoked. Provoked DVT were defined as the presence of any of the following factors within 30 days prior to diagnosis: major surgery, immobilization (greater than 3 days of bedrest), trauma, infection requiring antibiotics, central venous access, pregnancy, and/or hormonal medication use. Inpatient pulmonary embolisms (PE) detected on chest computed tomography (CT) were also evaluated during this time frame. Patient data were collected including age, gender, race, lifestyle factors, comorbidities, VTE risk factors, symptomatology at presentation, management including anticoagulation choice and filter placement if applicable, as well as discharge disposition. Statistical analysis was performed using GraphPad Prism 8.0 (GraphPad Software, San Diego, California, USA), and a threshold p-value of < 0.05 set for significance. RESULTS:During the study period, 83 DVTs (48 LEDVT, 35 UEDVT) and 24 PE were identified in 96 inpatients. Of these DVTs, 77.1% of these were defined as provoked. Eleven patients had simultaneous DVT and PE, and thirteen patients had PE with presumed occult pelvic or LEDVT. UEDVT patients had a higher proportion of comorbidities than LEDVT patients: coronary artery disease (25.7% vs. 13.1%, p=0.16), congestive heart failure (20% vs. 6.6%, p=0.09), as well as a trend toward higher incidence of malignancy (60% vs. 42.6%, p=0.13). Of provoked VTE, UEDVT correlated more significantly with central venous catheters (88.4% vs. 12.5%, p=<0.0001), but was less commonly associated with prolonged bed rest (19.2% vs. 39.5%, p=0.11). PE was diagnosed in 24/96 (25%) of the study population. Patients with LEDVT were found to have a significantly higher incidence of PE compared to those with UEDVT (34.4% vs. 8.6%, p=0.006). Same-admission mortality for patients with VTE was 13/96 (13.5%). Of these, patients with UEDVT had significantly higher all-cause mortality than patients with LEDVT (28.5% vs. 4.9%, p=0.004). When catheter-related UEDVT were excluded, there remained a significant difference in mortality between non-catheter related UEDVT and LEDVT (33.3% vs. 4.9% p=0.0119). CONCLUSIONS:This study demonstrates a high prevalence of UEDVT in hospitalized patients who experience VTE. Despite a lower incidence of synchronous PE, patients with UEDVT had a higher prevalence of significant medical comorbidities and higher all-cause mortality on the index hospital admission.
Prior authorization as a utilization management tool for elective superficial venous procedures results in high administrative cost and low efficacy in reducing utilization
OBJECTIVE:Prior authorization (PA) is a process used by payers for safety and cost savings purposes, but it has received criticism for being time-consuming and costly because of administrative burden. Our study evaluated efficacy of PA applied to in-office lower extremity superficial venous procedures. METHODS:All in-office lower extremity venous procedures scheduled to be performed at our institution in 2017 were included in the study. Variables of interest were type of procedure, initial PA status (approved or denied), rationale for the decision, and final status after appeal. Cost analysis was performed using Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services allowable rates to approximate billing and reimbursement data (proprietary) as well as calculated using industry averages. RESULTS:For 2017, of 1959 procedures scheduled, 57.9% (nÂ = 1134) required PA. Of these, only 6.1% (nÂ = 69) received initial PA denial, and nearly 40% of the denials (nÂ = 27) were overturned after appeal. Of the 42 denials that were upheld, 15 resulted in cancellations; the remainder were performed by patient self-pay (nÂ = 11) or by the provider pro bono (nÂ = 16). Overturned denials were a result of either submission of incomplete clinical data on initial PA request or insufficient documentation of clinical necessity. When Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services allowable rates were applied for cost analysis, the denials resulted inÂ <$60,000 payer savings. Administrative expenses totaled >$110,000 when industry standards were applied, which far exceeds any calculated payer savings using the same methods. The 15 denials resulting in procedure cancellations (1.3% of all PAs) could be considered a net savings to the health care system but only approximated a mere $30,000. CONCLUSIONS:Our study demonstrates that PA is not a cost-effective measure for utilization management of outpatient superficial venous procedures when surgeon practices are already well aligned with insurance guidelines. For these physicians and physician groups, the administrative cost associated with the PA process exceeds the savings seen by the insurance companies.
Advanced Pneumatic Compression: Continued Improvement in Quality of Life Beyond Initial Early Benefits of Decreased Limb Girth [Meeting Abstract]
Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of an advanced pneumatic compression device (APCD) on improving symptoms and quality of life in patients with lower extremity lymphedema.
Method(s): A total of 178 patients with lower extremity lymphedema were prospectively enrolled in this multicenter study (four Veterans Administration Hospitals) from 2016 to 2019. This study represents analysis of the first 74 patients who have completed 52 weeks of APCD treatment. Demographics and patient characteristics (limb girth, body mass index, and stage of lymphedema) were collected at baseline. Primary end points included both generic quality of life assessment (36-Item Short Form Health Survey) and a disease-specific measure (Lymphedema Quality of Life questionnaire) at 12, 24, and 52 weeks of follow-up. Secondary end points compared changes in limb circumference and skin assessment (lymphedema stage) at each follow-up interval visit. Complications including cellulitis episodes, number of clinic visits, and hospital admissions associated with cellulitis were recorded for the 52 weeks before enrollment and compared with similar events within the 52 weeks of treatment with APCD.
Result(s): Patient demographics were as follows: mean age, 67.0 +/- 11.4 years; male sex (n = 70); body mass index, 32.8 +/- 5.9 kg/m2. Most patients had secondary lymphedema (n = 71 [95.9%]), of which the most common cause was chronic venous insufficiency (n = 53 [71.6%]). The majority of patients presented with stage 1 or stage 2 lymphedema (n = 70 [94.6%]); There was a significant decrease in limb girth noted at 12 weeks compared with baseline (28.1 vs 27.3 cm; P =.002), which then plateaued for the remainder of the study period. The 36-Item Short Form Health Survey showed a trend toward quality of life improvement in all areas at 52 weeks (physical component, 39.9 vs 41.7 [P =.1]; mental component, 49.3 vs 51.3 [P =.2]). Lymphedema Quality of Life questionnaire leg scores showed significant continued improvement at each time point (P <.0001). Of the 74 patients, 18 (24.3%) had a history of cellulitis in the 52 weeks before enrollment compared with 7 (9.5%) after 1 year of APCD treatment (P =.01). Among this cellulitis cohort, there was a significant decrease in number of episodes per patient (0.3 vs 0.1; P =.01), total clinic visits (19 vs 6; P =.0003), number of clinic visits per patient (2.2 vs 0.7; P =.06), and number of hospital admissions per patient (0.05 vs 0.1; P =.047).
Conclusion(s): APCD for treatment of lymphedema appears to result in a continued linear improvement in quality of life at least up to 1 year beyond the initial clinical benefit of decreased limb girth. A significant decrease in the number of episodes of cellulitis as well as fewer associated clinic and hospital visits may explain the noted improvement in quality of life for patients and can represent significant cost savings to the health care system.