Temporal trends and hospital costs associated with an endovascular-first approach for acute limb ischemia

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Objective: Recent studies suggest similar perioperative outcomes for endovascular and open surgical management of acute limb ischemia (ALI). We sought to describe temporal trends, patient factors, and hospital costs associated with contemporary ALI management. Methods: We used the weighted National Inpatient Sample to estimate primary ALI cases requiring open or endovascular intervention (2005-2014). We used multivariable regression models to examine temporal trends, patient factors, and hospital costs associated with endovascular-first vs open-first management. Results: Of 116,451 admissions for ALI during the study period, 35.2% were treated by an endovascular-first approach. The percentage of admissions managed with an endovascular-first approach increased over time (P < .001). Independent predictors of endovascular-first management included younger age, male sex, renal insufficiency, and more recent calendar year of admission (P ≤ .02), whereas patients who underwent fasciotomy, those with Medicaid, and those admitted on a weekend were more likely to undergo open-first management (P ≤ .02). Endovascular-first management had higher mean hospital costs than open-first management ($29,719 vs $26,193; P < .001). After adjustment for patient, hospital, and admission characteristics, there was an increase of $981 in treatment costs per year in the endovascular-first group (95% confidence interval [CI], $571-$1392; P < .001), whereas the costs associated with an open-first approach remained relatively stable over time ($10 per year; 95% CI, −$295 to $315; P = .95; P < .001 for interaction). The risk-adjusted odds of in-hospital major amputation was similar in both groups (adjusted odds ratio, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.85-1.15; P = .88). Conclusions: Use of an endovascular-first approach for the treatment of ALI has significantly increased over time. Although major amputation rates are similar for both approaches, the costs associated with an endovascular-first approach are increasing over time, whereas the costs of open surgery have remained stable. The cost-effectiveness of modern ALI management warrants further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of vascular surgery
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019



  • Acute limb ischemia
  • Endovascular
  • Hospital costs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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