Outcomes of axillofemoral bypass for intermittent claudication

Scott R. Levin, Alik Farber, Elizabeth G. King, Adam W. Beck, Nicholas H. Osborne, Randall R. DeMartino, Thomas W. Cheng, Denis Rybin, Jeffrey J. Siracuse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Although endovascular therapy is often the first-line option for medically refractory intermittent claudication (IC) caused by aortofemoral disease, suprainguinal bypass is often performed. Although this will often be aortofemoral bypass (AoFB), axillofemoral bypass (AxFB) is still sometimes performed despite limited data evaluating its utility in the management of IC. Our goal was to assess the safety and durability of AxFB performed for IC. Methods: The Vascular Quality Initiative (2009-2019) was queried for suprainguinal bypass performed for IC. Univariable and multivariable analyses were used to compare the perioperative and 1-year outcomes between AxFB and a comparison cohort of AoFB. Results: We identified 3261 suprainguinal bypasses performed for IC: 436 AxFBs and 2825 AoFBs. The mean age was 61.4 ± 9.1 years, 58.8% of the patients were men, and 59.7% currently smoked. Patients undergoing AxFB, compared with AoFB, were more often older, male, never smokers and ambulated with assistance (P <.001 for all). They had more often had hypertension, diabetes, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and end-stage renal disease and had more often undergone previous outflow peripheral endovascular interventions and previous inflow or outflow bypass. The AxFBs, compared with the AoFBs, were more often unifemoral (P <.05). Patients who had undergone AxFB, compared with AoFB, had had a shorter postoperative length of stay (median, 4 vs 6 days) and fewer perioperative pulmonary (3% vs 7.9%) and renal (5.5% vs 9.9%) complications but had required more perioperative ipsilateral major amputations (0.9% vs 0.04%; P <.05 for all). No significant differences were found in the incidence of perioperative myocardial infarction (2.8% vs 2.7%), stroke (0.7% vs 1.1%), or death (1.8% vs 1.7%). At 1 year, the Kaplan-Meier analysis demonstrated that the AxFB cohort, compared with the AoFB cohort, had had higher rates of death (7.3% vs 3.6%; P =.002), graft occlusion or death (14.3% vs 7.2%; P =.001), ipsilateral major amputation or death (12.5% vs 5.6%; P <.001), and reintervention, amputation, or death (19% vs 8.6%; P <.001). On multivariable analysis, AxFB was independently associated with an increased risk of 1-year reintervention, amputation, or death (hazard ratio, 1.6; 95% confidence interval, 1.03-2.4; P =.04). Conclusions: The results from the present retrospective analysis suggest that long-term complications were more frequent in patients who had undergone AxFB compared with AoFB, although patients treated with AxFB had had a greater risk with more comorbidities. Because AxFB was associated with significant perioperative morbidity, mortality, and long-term complications, serious consideration should be given before its use to treat IC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1687-1694.e4
JournalJournal of vascular surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022


  • Amputation
  • Aortofemoral bypass
  • Axillofemoral bypass
  • Claudication
  • Reintervention
  • Vascular surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Outcomes of axillofemoral bypass for intermittent claudication'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this