Arteriosclerosis Obliterans: Review of 520 Cases with Special Reference to Pathogenic and Prognostic Factors
The clinical and follow-up data on 520 non-diabetic patients less than 60 years of age who had a clinical diagnosis of arteriosclerosis obliterans of the lower extremities made at the Mayo Clinic in the period 1939 through 1948 were reviewed from the standpoint of pathogenesis, prognosis, and clinical course of the disease. The ratio of males to females was 11 to 1, and the mean concentration of plasma cholesterol in the male patients with arteriosclerosis obliterans was approximately 50 mg. per 100 ml. greater than that of either of 2 control groups of men without clinical evidence of atherosclerosis. The incidence of smoking among the men with this disease was higher than in a comparable group of men without it. Obesity was not commonly associated with arteriosclerosis obliterans, while hypertension was associated with the disease about 3 times as often as in a control group without the disease.
The survival rate for patients with arteriosclerosis obliterans was less favorable than that of a normal population of a similar age and sex distribution, and the survival rate for patients with atherosclerotic aorto-iliac occlusion was significantly less favorable than that of patients with atherosclerotic occlusion of the femoral artery. In approximately three fourths of the patients who died, the cause of death was thought to be disease of the coronary arteries. The presence of atherosclerosis elsewhere than in the arteries supplying the extremities, as manifested by clinical coronary artery or cerebrovascular disease at the time of diagnosis, had an adverse effect on survival.
Four per cent of the patients required amputation of a leg shortly after the diagnosis of arteriosclerosis obliterans was made at the clinic, and an additional 4.9 per cent subsequently required amputation during the 5-year period following the initial examination. Only 3.0 per cent of patients with intermittent claudication as the only symptom of their disease required an amputation during this period. Eleven and three-tenths per cent of patients who continued to smoke, but none who abstained from smoking, had amputations within 5 years.
Since all patients of the series were treated before the advent of direct arterial surgery for segmental arterial occlusion, it is believed that the subsequent course of the disease in these patients may be used as a basis for comparative evaluation of results in patients subjected to direct arterial surgical procedures.
- © 1960 American Heart Association, Inc.