Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) is considered an effective treatment in patients with critical limb ischemia (CLI). However, the long-term durability of below-the-knee (BTK) PTA is known to be limited. This study sought to compare the 1-year clinical outcomes following stenting versus balloon angioplasty alone in BTK lesions. This study included 357 consecutive patients (400 limbs, 697 lesions) with BTK lesions who underwent PTA from September 2010 to December 2016. All enrolled patients were treated either by stenting (stent group; 111 limbs of 102 patients) or plain old balloon angioplasty (POBA group; 289 limbs of 255 patients). Stent group includes both primary and provisional stenting. Angiographic outcomes, procedural success, complications, and clinical outcomes were compared between the two groups up to 1 year. After propensity score matching (PSM) analysis, 56 pairs were generated, and the baseline and angiographic characteristics were balanced. The procedural success and complications were similar between the two groups; however, the incidence of procedure-related perforation was higher in the POBA group than in the stenting group [5(11.9%) vs.1 (0.9%), P = 0.009]. Six- to 9-month computed tomography or angiographic follow-up showed similar incidences of binary restenosis, primary patency, and secondary patency. In the 1-year clinical follow-up, there were similar incidences of individual hard endpoints, including mortality, myocardial infarction, limb salvage, and amputation rate, with the exception of target extremity revascularization (TER), which tended to be higher in the stenting group than in the POBA group [21 (20.8%) vs. 11 (10.9%), P = 0.054]. Although there was a trend toward a higher incidence of TER risk in the stenting group, stent implantation, particularly in bail-out stenting seemed to have acceptable 1-year safety and efficacy compared to POBA alone in patients undergoing BTK PTA.
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