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01.12.2017 | Original investigation | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

Cardiovascular Diabetology 1/2017

Impact of diabetes on outcome in critical limb ischemia with tissue loss: a large-scaled routine data analysis

Cardiovascular Diabetology > Ausgabe 1/2017
Eva Freisinger, Nasser M. Malyar, Holger Reinecke, Holger Lawall
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​s12933-017-0524-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Patients with diabetes concomitant to critical limb ischemia (CLI) represent a sub-group at particular risk. Objective of this analysis is to evaluate the actual impact of diabetes on treatment, outcome, and costs in a real-world scenario in Germany.


We obtained routine-data on 15,332 patients with CLI with tissue loss from the largest German health insurance, BARMER GEK from 2009 to 2011, including a follow-up until 2013. Patient data were analyzed regarding co-diagnosis with diabetes with respect to risk profiles, treatment strategy, in-hospital and long-term outcome including costs.


Diabetic patients received less overall revascularizations in Rutherford grades 5 and 6 (Rutherford grade 5: 45.0 vs. 55.5%; Rutherford grade 6: 46.5 vs. 51.8; p < 0.001) and less vascular surgery (Rutherford grade 5: 13.4 vs. 23.4; Rutherford grade 6: 19.7 vs. 29.6; p < 0.001), however more often endovascular revascularization in Rutherford grade 6 (31.0 vs. 28.1; p = 0.004) compared to non-diabetic patients. Diabetes was associated with a higher observed ratio of infections (35.3 vs. 23.5% Rutherford grade 5; 44.3 vs. 27.4% Rutherford grade 6; p < 0.001) and in-hospital amputations (13.0 vs. 7.3% Rutherford grade 5; 47.5 vs. 36.7% Ruth6; p < 0.001). Diabetes further increased the risk for amputation during follow-up [Rutherford grade 5: HR 1.51 (1.38–1.67); Rutherford grade 6: HR 1.33 (1.25–1.41); p < 0.001], but not for death.


Diabetes increases markedly the risk of amputation attended by higher costs in CLI patients with tissue loss (OR 1.67 at Rutherford 5, OR 1.53 at Rutherford 6; p < 0.001), but is associated with lower revascularizations. However, in Rutherford grades 5 and 6, concomitant diabetes does not further worsen the overall poor survival.
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