Critical limb ischemia (CLI) represents the end stage of peripheral arterial disease (PAD). It is defined as a chronic ischemic rest pain, ulcers or gangrene, attributable to proven arterial occlusive disease. Intra-arterial digital subtraction angiography (IA DSA) still represents the gold standard for the evaluation of steno-occlusive lesions, but it has greatly been replaced with non-invasive multi-detector computed tomography angiography (MDCTA). The purpose of this prospective study was to compare diagnostic performance of MDCTA versus DSA in treatment planning in patients with CLI according to TransAtlantic Inter-Society Consensus Document on Management of Peripheral Arterial disease (TASC II).
The study was designed as prospective; it was conducted from March 2014 to August 2016, and included 60 patients with symptoms of CLI, Fontaine stage III and IV. MDCTA of the peripheral arteries was performed first, followed by DSA. The lesions of aorto-iliac, femoro-popliteal and infra-popliteal regions were classified according to the TASC II guidelines, and inter-modality agreement between MDCTA and DSA was determined by using Kendall’s tau-b statistics.
Inter-modality agreement was statistically significant in all three vascular beds, with excellent agreement >0.81 in aortoiliac and femoropopliteal regions, and a very good agreement >0.61 in infrapopliteal region. Treatment recommendations based on MDCTA findings and DSA findings were identical in 54 (90%) patients. In one patient (1.7%), CTA was not interpretable. In five patients (8.3%), CTA findings disagreed with DSA findings in regard to the preferable treatment option.
64-row MDCT angiography is highly competitive to DSA in evaluation of steno-occlusive disease and treatment planning in patients with critical limb ischemia.