Treatment of long superficial femoral artery occlusions with excimer laser angioplasty: long-term results after 48 months.
PURPOSE: To evaluate clinical and hemodynamical long-term results after laser angioplasty of long occlusions of the superficial femoral artery (SFA). MATERIAL AND METHODS: In a prospective trial of 452 patients with long occlusions of the SFA, excimer percutaneous transluminal laser angioplasty (PTLA) for recanalization was applied. The average occlusion length of the SFA was 25.5 cm (range 16-38 cm). The recanalization attempt was done with the crossover technique in 398 patients, in 36 patients with the antegrade technique and in another 18 patients with the transpopliteal technique. RESULTS: The application of laser angioplasty demonstrated a successful recanalization of the SFA in 386/452 patients (85.5%). Recanalization with PTLA was not possible in 66 patients (14.5%). The main reason for the unsuccessful PTLAs was obstructing calcified material (n = 28) resistant to PTLA application. After a follow-up period of 48 months there was a primary, primary-assisted, and secondary patency rate of 22.3%, 40.9%, and 43.2%, respectively. CONCLUSION: Laser angioplasty of long occlusions of the SFA is a feasible procedure with a low failure rate. Long-term results are promising, but additional interventions are required in most patients if a patency rate of 43.2% is to be achieved after 4 years.