Retrograde transpopliteal access is safe and effective - It should be added to the vascular surgeon's portfolio

Houssam K. Younes, Hosam F. El-Sayed, Mark G. Davies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background The aim of the study was to review the outcomes of superficial femoral artery (SFA) interventions using a retrograde transpopliteal access approach after failed antegrade recanalization. Methods A database of patients undergoing endovascular treatment of the SFA between 2008 and 2011 was retrospectively queried, and those cases with transpopliteal artery retrograde access were analyzed. Time-dependent outcomes were determined by Kaplan-Meier survival analyses. Results A total of 16 patients (75% men; mean age 61 ± 9 years) underwent retrograde popliteal access after failed antegrade attempts. Patients had multiple cardiovascular comorbidities with a mean modified cardiac index score of 3.1 ± 1.8. The reason for intervention was lifestyle-limiting claudication in 67% of cases and critical ischemia in the remainder. Most of the lesions were Trans-Atlantic Inter-Society Consensus II C and D. Retrograde ultrasound-guided puncture of the popliteal artery was successful in all cases and there were no local site complications. Intervention was successful in 94% of cases. One uncomplicated perforation (7%) was encountered during attempted recanalization of the SFA in the thigh. There was no perioperative morbidity or 30-day mortality. The 30-day major adverse cardiovascular events rate was 6% but both 30-day major adverse limb events and the 30-day major amputation rate were 0%. There was a 40% increase in actual ankle-brachial index (ABI); 93% of patients achieved an ABI rise >0.15. On longer term follow-up, 2 patients developed restenosis and 1 an asymptomatic occlusion. Both restenosis patients required re-angioplasty. Two patients required expected toe amputations as a result of their presenting symptoms. The primary patency was 66 ± 9%, assisted patency 81 ± 9%, and secondary patency 87 ± 8% at 2 years. Limb salvage was 100%. Clinical efficacy was 63 ± 9% at 2 years. Conclusions Ultrasound-guided retrograde transpopliteal access is a safe and successful technique, which extends the ability to perform endovascular interventions after failed antegrade approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-265
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Vascular Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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