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One hundred and twenty-four patients treated by Fogarty balloon catheter embolectomy from 1964 through 1973 were reviewed and compared to an earlier series of 82 patients treated by direct extraction during the interval from 1948 to 1963. In patients undergoing embolectomy, the incidence of rheumatic heart disease (RHD) declined from 55 to 27 percent, and that of arteriosclerotic heart disease (ASHD) rose from 39 to 55 percent. The operative mortality rate of those with RHD was unchanged and that of patients with ASHD declined from 74 to 36 percent. This was attributed, in part, to the lesser degree of operative stress entailed by the Fogarty catheter and the local anesthesia. Limb salvage was 82 percent when ischemic symptoms were less than 24 hours in duration and 66 percent when such symptoms were more than 24 hours in duration. The amputation rate for the entire group was 22 percent. The low 2 year survival of patients with ASHD and of amputees was ascribed to the wide extent of their atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. This was emphasized by the fact that 44 percent of late deaths were due to myocardial infarction.
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Accepted: July 30, 1975
© 1976 Published by Elsevier Inc.