OBJECTIVE: Endovascular revascularisation has become a standard approach for below knee lesions and paclitaxel coated devices have been widely used in patients with chronic limb threatening ischaemia. A recent meta-analysis reported higher mortality in paclitaxel coated devices compared with uncoated devices in femoropopliteal lesions. This study aimed to determine long term outcomes in below the knee interventions using paclitaxel coated devices in routine vascular care using a large and contemporary cohort.
METHODS: A large cohort was created using all inclusive health insurance claims data of patients covered by the second largest insurance fund in Germany. The cohort included patients with index revascularisation of arteries below the knee performed from 1 January 2010, to 31 December 2018. Only patients with first paclitaxel coated device exposure were included. The study cohort was stratified into balloon vs. stent treatment and patients with paclitaxel coated devices were matched with uncoated devices using propensity score. Outcomes were evaluated using the Kaplan-Meier method and Cox regression.
RESULTS: There were 14 738 patients (mean age 77.6 years, 43.6% female) and 6 568 matched patients included in the study. Increasing use of paclitaxel coated devices was observed during the study period (6% in 2010 vs. 31% in 2018, p < .001), and a total of 2 611 (39.8%) deaths occurred within five years of follow up. In the propensity score matched Cox model, a paclitaxel related reduction of five year mortality (hazards ratio, HR 0.84, 95% confidence interval, CI 0.78-0.91), amputation or death (HR 0.87, 95% CI 0.81-0.94), and cardiovascular event or death (HR 0.86, 95% CI 0.80-0.92) were observed.
CONCLUSION: In this propensity score matched cohort, reduced long term all cause mortality, reduced rates of amputation or death and cardiovascular event or death were observed at five years after the use of paclitaxel coated devices when compared with uncoated devices for the treatment of chronic limb threatening ischaemia.