The risk factors and predictors of the clinically significant progression of atherosclerosis in patients with chronic lower extremity ischemia


Aim. To define the risk factors and predictors of atherosclerosis progression leading to clinical worsening in patients with chronic lower extremity ischemia (CLEI).
Subjects and methods: Two hundred and forty patients with lower extremity arterial (LEA) atherosclerosis were examined. All the patients underwent color duplex ultrasound scanning of the great arteries supplying blood to the brain and LEA. Later on an annual observation was made for 11 months to 11 years (mean 45.6 months). To evaluate the influence of various factors on the progression of LEA atherosclerosis, the authors estimated overall survival without progression of CLEI.
Results. The one-year overall CLEI progression-free survival was 93.5% (SE = 0.016); 5- and 7-year survival was 66.9% (SE = 0.040) and 53.7% (SE = 0.054), respectively. Over 5 years, a clinically significant progression of CLEI was noted in 32% of the smokers and in 8% of the non-smokers, also in 26% of the patients with grade 1 or 2 hypertensive disease (HD) and in 43% of those with grade 3 HD. The overall CLEI progression-free survival did not depend on the severity of type 2 diabetes mellitus (patients with the severe course were excluded from the analysis). LEA atherosclerosis showed a significantly rapider progression in patients with increased common carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) (p = 0.004). During 5 years, CLEI progression occurred in 18% of the patients with an IMT of ≤ 1.0 mm and in 38% of those with an IMT of more than 1.0 mm, in 15% of the patients without hemodynamically significant stenosis (HDSS) of brachiocephalic arteries (BCA) and in 52% of those with HDSS of BCA, as well as in 20% of the patients without ischemic heart disease (IHD) and in 36% of those with symptoms of IHD.
Conclusion. Smoking that increases the risk of CLEI progression by 2.1 times and severe hypertension are the most important factor influencing the progression of atherosclerosis. The IMT index is a universal predictor of progressive atherosclerosis. It may be presumed that there is a higher process development rate in the detection of HDSS of one of the arterial beds (LEA, BCA, and symptoms of IHD) at the first examination.

About the authors

Natal'ya Sergeevna Nosenko

Ekaterina Mikhaylovna Nosenko

Larisa Valer'evna Dadova

Boris Alekseevich Sidorenko

N S Nosenko

E M Nosenko

L V Dadova

B A Sidorenko


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