Background: We previously reported 48-month patency rates of composite sequential bypass (CSB) approaching 60%. Yet, extended patency and limb salvage rates are unknown. Hypothesis: Long-term patency and limb salvage rates of CSB are affected by sex, bypass configuration, and warfarin therapy. Design: Medical records of all patients who underwent CSB during a 10-year period were retrospectively reviewed. Setting: A referral center for the Chicago, III, region. Patients: One hundred consecutive patients (mean age, 68.8 years; 57% were men and 49% had diabetes) undergoing 102 CSBs for limb salvage (ulcer, 43%; rest pain, 39%; and gangrene, 18%) from January 1986 to January 1996 were identified. Interventions: Warfarin was used after surgery by 72% of patients and aspirin was used by the remainder of them. Main Outcome Measures: Life table primary patency and limb salvage rates were compared for sex, diabetes mellitus status, location of distal prosthetic anastomosis (above knee vs below knee), and anticoagulation drug therapy (warfarin sodium vs aspirin) with log-rank statistics. Results: Primary patency of CSB was 56% at 24 months, 29% at 48 months, and 20% at 84 months (SE<10%; mean follow-up, 19.6 months [range, 1.0-110.0 months]). Limb salvage rates were 64% at 24 months, 30% at 48 months, and 23% at 84 months (SE<10%); 66% and 90% of patients had failed grafts requiring amputation by 3 months and 1 year, respectively. Conclusions: Composite sequential bypass for limb salvage provides reasonable 2-year patency. However, patency rates steadily declined from year 2 to year 5. After CSB failure, limb salvage rates are poor, with 90% of patients progressing to amputation within 1 year.
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