Early outcome and intermediate follow-up of vascular stents in the femoral and popliteal arteries without long-term anticoagulation

Geoffrey H. White*, Stephen C C Liew, Richard C. Waugh, Michael S. Stephen, John P. Harris, Jenifer Kidd, Toos Sachinwalla, Weiyun Yu, James May

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    76 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: The role of arterial stenting in the treatment of femoral and popliteal arterial disease is controversial and has been hampered by recommendations for patients to be given anticoagulants (oral warfarin) for several months or more. This study was undertaken to evaluate the immediate and midterm outcomes of vascular stents implanted percutaneously in the femoral and popliteal arteries, without long-term anticoagulation. Methods: Over a 3-year period, 32 patients admitted to a vascular surgery service had arterial stents implanted in the femoral (n = 22) or popliteal (n = 10) artery for the following indications: recurrent stenosis after angioplasty (n = 13), suboptimal result after angioplasty of occluded (n = 12) or calcified stenotic arteries (n = 2), percutaneous transluminal angioplasty-induced thrombosis or dissection (n = 5). Access to the artery was gained by percutaneous insertion of a hemostatic sheath into the ipsilateral common femoral artery. Systemic heparin was given at the time of stent insertion, and patients were prescribed daily low-dose aspirin. Results: Successful stent implantation was achieved in 31 of the 32 patients. Acute thrombosis (< 30 days) occurred in two patients. There was no incidence of false aneurysm formation, acute leg ischemia, or vessel perforation. All patients were monitored by Doppler scanning index and duplex scanning within 24 hours, and thereafter at 3- to 6-month intervals. The mean ankle-brachial systolic pressure index improved from 0.60 (before treatment) to 0.88 (3 to 6 months after stenting). Stent occlusion has occurred in six patients; two stents were successfully salvaged with urokinase infusion. In follow-up to date (range 3 to 33 months) the primary patency rate by life-table analysis was 75% at 18 months, whereas the secondary patency rate was 89% at the same interval. Restenosis (>50% lumen diameter) was detected by duplex ultrasonography in seven of 25 patent stents (28%) at a mean interval of 9.5 months (range 4 to 15 months); of these, four patients remained clinically symptom-free despite the ultrasound findings. Conclusions: We conclude that vascular stents can be implanted into the femoropopliteal arteries with few complications and with acceptable early and intermediate patency rates, without the need for long-term anticoagulation. Restenosis is not prevented by stents, and the main value of stenting at this site appears to be in salvaging acute complications of percutaneous transluminal angioplasty, or to correct suboptimal results after recanalization of occluded arteries. (J VASC SURG 1995;21:270-81.).

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)270-281
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1995


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