Incidence and treatment of local stenosis or occlusion at the vascular access site leading to limb ischemia and new-onset intermittent claudication after percutaneous interventions: Implications of Vascular Closure Devices


  • Conflict of interest: Nothing to report.


Objective: Vascular access site complications (ASCs) are an ongoing hazard of percutaneous interventions (PI). We analyzed incidence, indication, and results of operative repair of access site complications leading to acute limb ischemia (ALI) or new-onset severe claudication (CI) in our institution during an 8-year period. Methods: Retrospective analysis: demographic parameters, details of coronary or vascular intervention, use of a vascular closure device (VCD), clinical presentation, diagnosis and therapy. Endpoints: perioperative outcome (death, limb loss, and need for re-operation/intervention) and length of hospital stay. For comparison of annual operation rates, patients were grouped by the years 2001 to 2004 (no use of VCD) and 2005 to 2008 (selective use of a VCD; in all cases: Angio-Seal), and Chi-Square-test was applied. Results: Fifty-one patients (19 female; median age: 64.5 years) underwent repair of arterial ASCs causing ALI (n = 32) or new-onset severe CI (n = 19) after 58,453 catheter interventions (overall rate: 0.087%; ALI: 0.055%; CI: 0.032%). Corresponding with more widespread VCD use, the annual number of ALI and new onset CI increased significantly (P < 0.001). Perioperative outcome: 30 day mortality was 4%. No limb loss occurred. Re-operations were indicated in 10 patients (20%) for: hematoma (n = 5), local infection (n = 3), revision of fasciotomy (n = 1), and repeated thrombectomy (n = 1). Median length of postoperative hospital stay: 7 days (range: 1–28). Conclusion: ALI and new-onset severe CI due to access site complications after PI are rare, however, they are potentially threatening life and limb. The use of VCDs results in an overall increase of ischemic complications. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.