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Multi-Level Thrombotic/Embolic Burden and Its Role in Gender-Related Outcomes in Acute Limb Ischemia
Ilse Torres Ruiz1, Xin Yee Ooi1, Lauren Harry2, Cuneyt Koksoy1, Zachary S. Pallister1, Ramyar S. Gilani1, Joseph L. Mills1, Charles J. Bailey2, Jayer L. Chung1
1Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX;2USF-Morsani College of Medicine, Tampa, FL

Introduction: The impact of sex upon outcomes in acute limb ischemia (ALI) remains disputed. We aim to quantify the effect of sex upon amputation-free survival (AFS) after a percutaneous-first approach for ALI.Methods: Two-center retrospective review ALI managed via a percutaneous-first approach. Demographics, comorbidities, and clinical characteristics were analyzed (Table 1). The Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression were used to estimate AFS, limb-salvage and overall survival.
Results: Over ten years, 170 patients (87, 51% males; median age 67 IQR 59, 77 years) presented with ALI. Rutherford Classification was I in 56 (33%); IIa in 85 (50%); IIb in 20 (12%) and III in 9 (5%). Thirty-day mortality, major amputation rate and fasciotomy rates were 8% (N=13); 6.5% (N=11), and 4.7% (N=8), respectively. Among revascularized limbs, 98.3% were patent at 30 days. Length of stay was 7 (IQR 3-11) days. Complications included 13 bleeding episodes (8%), 4 cases of atrial fibrillation (2%), and 3 re-thrombosis/clot extension events (1.7%). No differences were noted in complication rates when stratified by gender. Females were older than males (median age 70 IQR 62, 79 vs 65 IQR 56, 76 years; p=0.02) and more likely to present with atrial fibrillation (20.5% vs 8%, p 0.02); and hyperlipidemia (72% vs 57%, p = 0.04). Females also more frequently presented with multi-level thrombotic/embolic burden compared to males (64% vs 47%; p=0.03); and required both aspiration thrombectomy and thrombolysis (31% versus 15%; p 0.03). Kaplan-Meier estimated median AFS, limb salvage, and overall survival were 425 (IQR 140, 824 days); 314 (IQR 72, 727 days); and 342 (IQR 112, 762 days). When stratified by gender, females had worse survival (median 270 IQR 92, 636 versus 406 IQR 140, 937 days; p=0.04); and limb salvage (median 241 IQR 88, 636 versus 363 IQR 49, 822 days; p=0.04) compared to males (Figure 1). Univariate Cox regression showed that male gender (HR 0.71 95% CI 0.50-0.99) and multi-level thrombotic/embolic burden (HR 0.24 95% CI 1.04-0.47) predicted major amputation/death. By multivariable Cox regression, only multi-level thrombotic/embolic burden was independently predictive of major amputation/death (HR 1.23, 95% CI 1.04-1.47; p=0.02).

Conclusions: A percutaneous-first strategy is safe and efficacious in the overall ALI population. Similar to prior works, female versus male ALI patients in our cohort have higher rates of mortality and major amputation. Yet, in our multivariable model, our data show multi-level thrombotic/embolic burden was independently associated with a greater than 20% increased hazard of major amputation/ death at last follow up. This suggests that gender differences may be driven by more severe thrombotic/embolic burden at presentation. Further prospective analysis is warranted to elucidate the underlying factors contributing to the higher prevalence of multi-level thrombotic/embolic burden in female ALI patients.
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