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International Angiology 2005 March;24(1):64-9


language: English

Short-term and long-term effects of one-week treatment with intravenous iloprost in critical limb ischemia patients (Leriche-Fontaine stage III and IV)

Meini S. 1, De Franco V. 1, Auteri A. 1, Setacci C. 2, Di Renzo M. 1, Pieragalli D. 1

1 Section of Internal Medicine, Department of Clinical Medicine and Immunological Sciences, University of Siena, Siena, Italy 2 Unit of Vascular Surgery, University of Siena, Siena, Italy


Aim. Iloprost, usually administered through intravenous infusion for 6 hours per day for at least 21 days, is the main medical treatment for critical limb ischemia in patients unsuitable for surgical or endovascular approach. We evaluated the tolerance and the short-term and long-term effects of a single 1-week treatment in critical limb ischemia patients.
Methods. Twenty-nine patients in Leriche-Fontaine III and IV stage were treated with iloprost infusions for 16 hours per day for 7 days, achieving a maximal dose of 1.5 ng/kg/min. Tolerance and clinical assessment after treatment discontinuation and after 1 and 6 months were recorded; clinical evaluation (rest pain, trophic lesions), ankle/brachial pressure index (ABPI) and treadmill exercise test were performed before, immediately after treatment and after 1 and 6 months.
Results. No discontinuation of treatment occurred because of intolerance to iloprost. At the end of the treatment 69% of patients were responders, 55.2% at 1 month, 37.9% after 6 months. ABPI and treadmill maximum walking distance were improved by the treatment at every timepoint. After 6 months 10.3% mortality and 3.4% major amputation rates were recorded. There was a higher percentage of non-responders amongst women vs men, in diabetic patients vs non diabetic and in stage IV patients vs stage III.
Conclusion. One-week treatment with iloprost is safe and effective in both Leriche-Fontaine stage III and IV patients. Clinical effects are persistent over time, often lasting up to the 6th month, similarly to the commonly used 28-day treatment, with clear implications in terms of patient’s compliance and medical cost containment.

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