Objective The aim of this systematic review was to synthesize the existing evidence about various nonrevascularization-based therapies used to treat patients with severe or critical limb ischemia (CLI) who are not candidates for surgical revascularization. Methods We systematically searched multiple databases through November 2014 for controlled randomized and nonrandomized studies comparing the effect of medical therapies (prostaglandin E1 and angiogenic growth factors) and devices (pumps and spinal cord stimulators). We report odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of the outcomes of interest pooling data across studies using the random effects model. Results We included 19 studies that enrolled 2779 patients. None of the nonrevascularization-based treatments were associated with a significant effect on mortality. Intermittent pneumatic compression (OR, 0.14; 95% CI, 0.04-0.55) and spinal cord stimulators (OR, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.36-0.79) were associated with reduced risk of amputation. A priori established subgroup analyses (combined vs single therapy; randomized vs nonrandomized) were not statistically significant. Conclusions Very low-quality evidence, mainly due to imprecision and increased risk of bias, suggests that intermittent pneumatic compression and spinal cord stimulators may reduce the risk of amputations. Evidence supporting other medical therapies is insufficient.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine