Role of the latest endovascular technology in the treatment of intermittent claudication
Shigeo Ichihashi, Kimihiko Kichikawa
Department of Radiology, Nara Medical University, Kashihara, Nara, Japan
Abstract: Intermittent claudication is a serious symptom in patients with peripheral arterial disease, and severely limits activities of daily living. Conservative treatment (optimal medical therapy and exercise rehabilitation programs) and revascularization procedures (endovascular treatment [EVT] or open bypass surgery) can relieve intermittent claudication. Among these treatment options, EVT has developed dramatically during the past decade, and has enabled physicians to offer less invasive treatment options with increasing durability. EVT for aortoiliac lesions has matured, and its long-term patency now approaches that of open bypass surgery. The latest EVT technologies include drug-eluting stents, stent grafts, drug-coated balloons, and bioresorbable stents. The recently reported patency of stent grafts in the femoropopliteal lesions was comparable with that of the prosthetic bypass graft. In the course of the paradigm shift from bypass surgery to EVT, evidence of any long-term benefit of EVT compared with supervised exercise is still inconclusive. EVT could improve walking performance in the short-term, while supervised exercise could improve walking performance more efficiently in the long-term. Combined treatment with EVT and exercise may offer the most sustainable and effective symptom relief. This paper reviews the relevant literature on the treatment of intermittent claudication, focusing on the latest EVT technologies, and outlines a strategy for achieving long-term benefits.
Keywords: endovascular treatment, intermittent claudication, peripheral arterial disease, stent, exercise therapy
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