In a subset of patients requiring lower extremity revascularization, the popliteal artery may be used for inflow, thereby minimizing dissection and the length of vein required for bypass. This retrospective study was done to define the risks and benefits of arterial reconstruction in a population of patients having popliteal-to-distal bypass procedures. Between 1986 and 1990, 32 surgical procedures were performed on 29 patients. The patient's ages ranged from 46 to 86 years, with a mean age of 68 years. Twenty-four of 29 (83%) were men and 19 of the 29 (66%) had diabetes. Most patients had multiple indications for surgical intervention, and these included rest pain (54%), nonhealing ulcers (64%), and gangrene (29%). Arterial bypass with use of the popliteal artery for the proximal anastomosis was performed with in situ saphenous vein (50%), reversed saphenous vein (41%), and orthograde autologous vein (9%). Distal anastomoses were to the posterior tibial artery in 11 bypasses (33%), the peroneal artery in 10 (30%), the anterior tibial artery in two (6%), and the dorsal pedal artery in 10 (30%). Two deaths occurred in the perioperative period for an operative mortality rate of 6.9%. With use of life-table analysis, the cumulative graft patency rate was 97% at 1 year, 97% at 2 years, and 63.5% at 4 years. The overall cumulative limb salvage rate was 90.1% at 1 year, 90.1% at 2 years, and 78.8% at 4 years. Four patients required below-knee amputation; two of these amputations were performed in the perioperative period in patients with persistent and intractable pedal sepsis despite patent bypasses, and two were due to graft failure and subsequent ischemia during the late follow-up period. The remainder of the patients were ambulatory throughout their period of follow-up. The findings of this study support the selective use of the popliteal artery for proximal inflow, as excellent long-term patency and limb salvage rates may be anticipated. © 1992.
Marks, J., King, T. A., Baele, H., Rubin, J., & Marmen, C. (1992). Popliteal-to-distal bypass for limb-threatening ischemia. Journal of Vascular Surgery, 15(5), 755–760. https://doi.org/10.1016/0741-5214(92)90709-H