The surgical management and outcomes of dialysis access-associated steal syndrome (DASS)

Al Shakarchi J, et al. Surgical techniques for haemodialysis access-induced distal ischaemia. J Vasc Access. 2016 Jan-Feb;17(1):40-6.

Results: Following strict inclusion/exclusion criteria by two reviewers, twenty-seven studies of surgical interventions were included and divided into subgroups for banding, DRIL, PAI and RUDI procedures. Both DRIL and banding procedures were found to have high rates of symptomatic relief. In addition, the DRIL has a significantly lower rate of early thrombosis than banding although the more recent papers seem to suggest that early thrombosis is less of a problem in banding. PAI and RUDI showed some promise but there were too few studies to be able to make any clear conclusions.

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The Acute Venous Thrombosis: Thrombus Removal with Adjunctive Catheter-Directed Thrombolysis (ATTRACT) trial

Vedantham S, et al.; ATTRACT Trial Investigators. Pharmacomechanical Catheter-Directed Thrombolysis for Deep-Vein Thrombosis. N Engl J Med. 2017 Dec 7;377(23):2240-2252. Free full-text.

Summary: The ATTRACT trial sought to “determine whether pharmacomechanical thrombolysis prevents the post-thrombotic syndrome in patients with proximal deep-vein thrombosis” (p.2241). A total of 692 patients were enrolled at 56 centers in the US from December 2009 through December 2014. They were between the ages of 16 and 75, and had symptomatic proximal deep-vein thrombosis involving the femoral, common femoral, or iliac vein (p. 2241).

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Phlegmasia alba dolens and phlegmasia cerulea dolens

Shackford SR. (2018). Venous Disease. In: Abernathy’s Surgical Secrets, 7th ed.: p. 357.

What is the difference between phlegmasia alba dolens and phlegmasia cerulea dolens? 

“These two entities occur following iliofemoral venous thrombosis, 75% of which occur on the left side presumably because of compression of the left common iliac vein by the overlying right common iliac artery (May-Thurner syndrome). Iliofemoral venous thrombosis is characterized by unilateral pain and edema of an entire lower extremity, discoloration, and groin tenderness. In phlegmasia alba dolens (literally, painful white swelling), the leg becomes pale. Arterial pulses remain normal. Progressive thrombosis may occur with propagation proximally or distally and into neighboring tributaries. The entire leg becomes both edematous and mottled or cyanotic. This stage is called phlegmasia cerulea dolens (literally, painful purple swelling). When venous outflow is seriously impeded, arterial inflow may be reduced secondarily by as much as 30%. Limb loss is a serious concern and aggressive management (i.e., venous thrombectomy, catheter-directed lytic therapy, or both) is necessary.”


Chinsakchai K, et al. Trends in management of phlegmasia cerulea dolens. Vasc Endovascular Surg. 2011 Jan;45(1):5-14. Full-text for Emory users.

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Loeys-Dietz Syndrome

Velchev JD, Van Laer L, Luyckx I, Dietz H, Loeys B. Loeys-Dietz Syndrome. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2021;1348:251-264. Full-text for Emory users.

From: Table 11.1. Clinical features at initial diagnosis of LDS. (Velchev JD, et al., p. 253.)

  • Vascular findings
    • Arterial tortuosity 92%
      • Most common in head and neck vessels
        • Carotids (55%)
        • Vertebral (56%)
        • Intracranial (37%)
        • Ascending aorta (5%), aortic arch (10%)
        • Descending thoracic (4%) or abdominal
        • (7%) Ao, also other vessels (e.g. iliacs)
  • Aneurysms
    • Aorta
      • Root 87%
      • Ascending 27%
      • Arch 10%
      • Desc thoracic 15%
      • Abdominal 12%
    • Vessel beyond Ao 30%
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Remote endarterectomy

Saaya S, et al. A prospective randomized trial on endovascular recanalization with stenting vs. remote endarterectomy for the superficial femoral artery total occlusive lesions. J Vasc Surg. 2022 Feb 26:S0741-5214(22)00380-9. Full-text for Emory users.

Key Findings: In patients with superficial femoral artery total occlusive lesions of size greater than 250 mm, the 1-year and 4-year cumulative primary patencies of stenting (EI) and remote endarterectomy (RE) were 83% vs 82% and 28% vs 46% (P = .04), respectively. Patencies of endovascular reintervention subgroups (65 patients in the EI subgroup and 32 patients in the RE subgroup) were 37% and 60% (P = .04), respectively.

Take Home Message: RE has a better 4-year primary patency compared with stenting in patients with superficial femoral artery total occlusive lesions of size greater than 250 mm. Endovascular reinterventions after RE showed a higher patency compared with reinterventions after EI.

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Acute limb ischemia and antithrombotic therapy in COVID-19 patients

Galyfos G, et al. Acute limb ischemia among patients with COVID-19 infection. J Vasc Surg. 2022 Jan;75(1):326-342. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2021.07.222. Epub 2021 Aug 12.

Results: In total, 34 studies (19 case reports and 15 case series/cohort studies) including a total of 540 patients (199 patients were eligible for analysis) were evaluated. All studies were published in 2020. Mean age of patients was 61.6 years (range, 39-84 years; data from 32 studies) and 78.4% of patients were of male gender (data from 32 studies). There was a low incidence of comorbidities: arterial hypertension, 49% (29 studies); diabetes mellitus, 29.6% (29 studies); dyslipidemia, 20.5% (27 studies); chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, 8.5% (26 studies); coronary disease, 8.3% (26 studies); and chronic renal disease, 7.6% (28 studies). Medical treatment was selected as first-line treatment for 41.8% of cases. Pooled mortality rate among 34 studies reached 31.4% (95% confidence interval [CI], 25.4%%-37.7%). Pooled amputation rate among 34 studies reached 23.2% (95% CI, 17.3%-29.7%). Pooled clinical improvement rate among 28 studies reached 66.6% (95% CI, 55.4%%-76.9%). Pooled reoperation rate among 29 studies reached 10.5% (95% CI, 5.7%%-16.7%). Medical treatment was associated with a higher death risk compared with any intervention (odds ratio, 4.04; 95% CI, 1.075-15.197; P = .045) although amputation risk was not different between the two strategies (odds ratio, 0.977; 95% CI, 0.070-13.600; P = .986) (data from 31 studies).

Conclusions: SARS-CoV-2 infection is associated with a high risk for thrombotic complications, including ALI. COVID-associated ALI presents in patients with a low incidence of comorbidities, and it is associated with a high mortality and amputation risk. Conservative treatment seems to have a higher mortality risk compared with any intervention, although amputation risk is similar.

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