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Partial foot amputation (PFA) is a common consequence of advanced peripheral vascular disease. Given the different ways incidence rate and prevalence data have been measured and reported, it is difficult to synthesize data and reconcile variation between studies. As such, there is uncertainty in whether the incidence rates and prevalence of PFA have increased over time compared to the decline in transtibial amputation (TTA). The aims of this systematic review were to describe the incidence rate and prevalence of dysvascular PFA over time, and how these compare to TTA.
Databases (i.e., MEDLINE, EMBASE, psychINFO, AMED, CINAHL, ProQuest Nursing and Allied Health) were searched using MeSH terms and keywords related to amputation level and incidence rate or prevalence. Original research published in English from 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2015 were independently appraised, and data extracted, by two reviewers. The McMaster Critical Review Forms were used to assess methodological quality and bias. Results were reported as narrative summaries given heterogeneity of the literature and included the weighted mean annual incidence rate and 95% confidence interval.
Twenty two cohort studies met the inclusion criteria. Twenty one reported incidence rate data for some level of PFA; four also included a TTA cohort. One study reported prevalence data for a cohort with toe(s) amputation. Samples were typically older, male and included people with diabetes among other comorbidities. Incidence rates were reported using a myriad of denominators and strata such as diabetes type or initial/recurrent amputation.
When appropriately grouped by denominator and strata, incidence rates were more homogenous than might be expected. Variation between studies did not necessarily reduce confidence in the conclusion; for example, incidence rate of PFA were many times larger in cohorts with diabetes (94.24 per 100,000 people with diabetes; 95% CI 55.50 to 133.00) compared to those without (3.80 per 100,000 people without diabetes; 95% CI 1.43 to 6.16). It is unclear whether the incidence rates of PFA have changed over time or how they have changed relative to TTA. Further research requires datasets that include a large number of amputations each year and lengthy time periods to determine whether small annual changes in incidence rates have a cumulative and statistically significant effect over time.
Systematic review registration