Diagnosis of silent coronary ischemia with selective coronary revascularization might improve 2-year survival of patients with critical limb-threatening ischemia

Dainis Krievins (Coresponding Author), Edgars Zellans, Gustavs Latkovskis, Indulis Kumsars, Sanda Jegere, Roberts Rumba, Madara Bruvere, Christopher K. Zarins

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Patients with critical limb-threatening ischemia (CLTI) have had poor long-term survival after lower extremity revascularization owing to coexistent coronary artery disease. A new cardiac diagnostic test, coronary computed tomography-derived fractional flow reserve (FFRCT), can identify patients with ischemia-producing coronary stenosis who might benefit from coronary revascularization. We sought to determine whether the diagnosis of silent coronary ischemia before limb salvage surgery with selective postoperative coronary revascularization can reduce the incidence of adverse cardiac events and improve the survival of patients with CLTI compared with standard care. Methods: Patients with CLTI and no cardiac history or symptoms who had undergone preoperative testing to detect silent coronary ischemia with selective postoperative coronary revascularization (group I) were compared with patients with standard preoperative cardiac clearance and no elective postoperative coronary revascularization (group II). Both groups received guideline-directed medical care. Lesion-specific coronary ischemia in group I was defined as FFRCT of ≤0.80 distal to a stenosis, with severe ischemia defined as FFRCT of ≤0.75. The endpoints included all-cause death, cardiovascular (CV) death, myocardial infarction (MI), major adverse CV events (i.MACE; CV death, MI, unplanned coronary revascularization, stroke) through 2 years of follow-up. Results: Groups I (n = 111) and II (n = 120) were similar in age (66 ± 9 vs 66 ± 7 years), gender (78% vs 83% men), comorbidities, and surgery performed. In group I, unsuspected, silent coronary ischemia was found in 71 of 103 patients (69%), with severe ischemia in 58% and left main coronary ischemia in 8%. Elective postoperative coronary revascularization was performed in 47 of 71 patients with silent ischemia (66%). In group II, the status of silent coronary ischemia was unknown. The median follow-up was >2 years for both groups. The 2-year outcomes for groups I and II were as follows: all-cause death, 8.1% and 20.0% (hazard ratio [HR], 0.38; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.18-0.84; P =.016); CV death, 4.5% and 13.3% (HR, 0.32; 95% CI, 0.11-0.88; P =.028); MI, 6.3% and 17.5% (HR, 0.33; 95% CI, 0.14-0.79; P =.012); and major adverse CV events, 10.8% and 23.3% (HR, 0.44; 95% CI, 0.22-0.88; P =.021), respectively. Conclusions: The preoperative evaluation of patients with CLTI and no known coronary artery disease using coronary FFRCT revealed silent coronary ischemia in two of every three patients. Selective coronary revascularization of patients with silent coronary ischemia after recovery from limb salvage surgery resulted in fewer CV deaths and MIs and improved 2-year survival compared with patients with CLTI who had received standard cardiac evaluation and care. Prospective controlled studies are required to further define the role of FFRCT in the evaluation and treatment of patients with CLTI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1261-1271
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes
Event35th Western Vascular Society (WVS) Annual Meeting - virtual
Duration: 26 Sept 202029 Sept 2020
Conference number: 35


  • Coronary computed tomography-derived fractional flow reserve
  • Coronary revascularization
  • Critical limb-threatening ischemia
  • Silent coronary ischemia
  • Survival after limb salvage surgery

Field of Science*

  • 3.2 Clinical medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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