Frailty is Not Associated with Worse Outcomes following Lower Extremity Angiograms for Limb Ischemia in Nonagenarians.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Annals of vascular surgery


oregon; cards; cards publication; Aged, 80 and over; Humans; Male; Female; Nonagenarians; Risk Factors; Frailty; Treatment Outcome; Peripheral Arterial Disease; Ischemia; Lower Extremity


BACKGROUND: Endovascular interventions are performed routinely with minimal risk in younger populations. The safety and efficacy of endovascular interventions in nonagenarians is under examined. We sought to examine the following (1) mortality and limb salvage rates in the nonagenarian population and (2) whether frailty was associated with outcomes following lower extremity (LE) interventions for both acute limb ischemia (ALI) and chronic limb threatening ischemia (CLTI).

METHODS: A retrospective review of patients ≥90 years who underwent a LE angiogram for ALI or CLTI over a 12-year period at a single institution was performed. Primary outcomes were 30-day and 12-month limb salvage and mortality rates. Patient demographics, 30-day complications, and 12-month target vessel reintervention (TVR) were reviewed. Frailty scores were calculated using the 11-factor modified frailty index (MFI-11).

RESULTS: From 2009 to 2021, 76 patients (36% male) with a mean age of 93 (range: 90-102) underwent endovascular procedures for ALI (n = 13) and CLTI (n = 63). 30-day amputation and mortality rates were 6% and 8%, respectively. Patient demographics, preoperative functional status, and TVR rates were not different between patients who had early amputation (≤30 days) and those who achieved limb salvage. Seventy-two patients (94%) had follow-up data at 30 days. There was an 8% mortality rate at 30 days. Of those alive at 30 days, 94% of patients had successful limb salvage. Fifty-eight patients had complete follow-up data at 12 months. Of the patients alive at 12-month follow-up (75%), the limb salvage rate was 98%. Patients with amputation at 30 days had a significantly higher mortality rate at 12 months compared to those who did not (83% vs. 19%; P < 0.01). Based on MFI-11 scoring, 35% of the population was considered frail (≥0.27). Frail patients did not have significantly different 30-day outcomes (limb salvage: 94% vs. 88%; mortality 8% vs. 9%, P = 0.41 and 0.94, respectively) or 12-month outcomes (limb salvage: 82% vs. 94%; mortality: 32% vs. 22%, P = 0.28 and 0.39, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS: Endovascular procedures can be done safely in nonagenarians with low mortality and amputation rates. Patients with early amputation are at significantly higher risk of death at 12 months. Frailty, as measured by a validated index, was not associated with early or late outcomes. When compared to immediate amputation, nonagenarian patients and their families should be counseled as to the benefit from a minimally invasive endovascular procedure.

Clinical Institute

Cardiovascular (Heart)