The Particulars: Research indicates that approximately one-third of patients with untreated peripheral arterial disease (PAD)-induced intermittent claudication develop critical limb ischemia. Stent therapy has been the mainstay of treatment for patients with PAD, but little is known about the long-term outcomes of stent therapy in this population.

Data Breakdown: For a study, self-expanding nitinol stents were placed in superficial femoral artery blockages in 250 patients with PAD. At 3 years follow-up, 72.7% of arteries remained open in 209 patients. Of the 3.6% of stents that fractured, all were in the least severe blockages and therefore continued to keep the arteries open. Blood pressure in the legs, symptoms, and walking speed and distanced remained improved at 3 years.

Take Home Pearls: Stent therapy for patients with PAD appears to maintain artery openings in nearly three-quarters of patients at 3 years follow-up. Improved quality of life also appears to be maintained.