Radiation-induced lower-limb arteriopathy: Report of 4 cases and systematic literature review

Jonathan GRANDHOMME, Salomé KUNTZ, Adeline SCHWEIN, Yannick GEORG, Lydie STEINMETZ, Fabien THAVEAU, Nabil CHAKFE, Anne LEJAY

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Radiation-induced arteriopathy (RIA) is a rare complication but may become more common due to the increased use of radiotherapy and the prolonged survival of patients. There is still a lack of evidence concerning treatment options. The aim of this study is to review reported cases of lower-limb RIA in order to provide guidelines for management. Evidence acquisition: We reported 4 cases treated for lower limb RIA and performed a systematic literature review without time limitation in the Medline database using the MeSh tems "iliac artery/radiation effects" OR "femoral artery/radiation effects." Main outcomes of interest were radiation dose, time before symptoms, symptoms, involved vessels, treatment and outcome. Evidence synthesis: Twenty-five studies were included, reporting a total of 43 patients. Median time between irradiation and symptoms was 12 years (range: 9 days-49 years), with a median irradiation dose of 40Gy. Clinical presentation was claudication in 18 patients (52%), critical limb threatening ischemia (CLTI) in 4 patients (11%), acute limb ischemia (ALI) in 3 patients (9%) and hemorrhage in 6 patients (17%), the remaining 4 patients were asymptomatic (11%). Vessels involved were iliac arteries in 65% of the cases, femoropopliteal arteries in 28% of cases and concomitant supra and infrainguinal vessels in 7% of the cases. Claudication was mostly treated by open surgery (62%). Treatment of CLTI included primary amputation (50%), open surgery (25%) or endovascular surgery (25%). ALI was treated medically (33%), by open surgery (33%) or in situ thrombolysis (33%). Hemorrhagic cases or pulsatile masses were mostly treated by open surgery (66%). Follow-up was reported in 26 patients (67%), with mean follow-up of 12 months (range: 2 weeks - 5 years). During follow-up, 16% of these patients presented a recurrence of symptoms, and 8% required a reintervention. Conclusions: There seems to be no evidence for open versus endovascular treatment, but close and long-term follow-up is needed in these patients due to the possible late presentation and recurrence of symptoms after treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)222-228
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Angiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Arteritis
  • Radiotherapy
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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