International comparison of registry data within vascular surgery has previously been published by Vascunet. One of the limitations of such comparisons is data validity and completeness, and meaningful interpretation of differences between countries can only be made if the data are robust within each of the countries studied. The Vascunet collaboration has therefore embarked on a validation exercise of international vascular registry data.
Five out of 20 hospitals performing vascular surgery in Sweden were visited by two international validators. Independent evaluation of the procedures of carotid endarterectomy and infrarenal abdominal aortic aneurysm repair was performed, and local hospital administrative data were compared with Swedvasc registry data. External validation compared the numbers of cases in these two systems of data collection and internal validation compared data accuracy and completeness within individual patient records.
Hospital records identified 335 carotid and 393 abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) procedures, whereas Swedvasc identified 331 carotid and 359 AAAs. Nine carotid procedures and 64 AAA procedures were found in hospital administrative data but not in Swedvasc, and 14 carotids and 30 AAAs were found in Swedvasc but not in hospital data. External validity was 100% (95% CI 98.8-100%) for carotids and 98.8% (95% CI 96.9-99.5%) for AAAs. In internal validation, 0.8% of variables were missing in hospital data compared with Swedvasc and 4.2% were missing in Swedvasc compared with hospital data. Data contained within the data fields of Swedvasc and hospital data were the same in 97.4% (95% CI 96.3-98.3%) for carotids and 96.2% (CI 94.9-97.2%) for AAAs.
This study has provided a template for international validation of registry data and has demonstrated that Swedvasc is a highly accurate system of data collection for Swedish vascular surgery.
Open repair of ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm (RAAA) in patients aged 80 years and older may be questioned owing to the patients' high operative risk and short life expectancy.
Data on patients aged at least 80 years, admitted for RAAA at four Finnish university hospitals, were collected and analysed retrospectively.
Three hundred and ten consecutive patients aged 80 years and older with RAAA reached hospital alive; 200 (64·5 per cent) underwent open repair. The number of open repairs increased during the last 5 years (49·0 per cent of the whole series), with no significant increase in the number of patients treated conservatively. The overall in-hospital mortality rate was 72·9 per cent. The operative mortality rate was 59·0 per cent and decreased from 66 to 52 per cent during the last 5 years (P = 0·050). On multivariable analysis, shock was the only independent predictor of immediate postoperative death (odds ratio 4·97, 95 per cent confidence interval 2·09 to7·94; P
Treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is one of the vascular surgical index procedures and an important part of the total workload. Whichever way treated, it typically has high mortality and morbidity. Furthermore, endovascular repair is still a relatively new treatment method and under evolution. Therefore continuous quality control with subsequent outcome analysis, benchmarking, intervention and reassessment are mandatory to achieve high level aneurysm care. Vascular registries are tools for this audit. The aim of this review is to focus on the problems and solutions related to attempts to improve the management of abdominal aortic aneurysm with emphasis on the experience gathered in Finland. This includes great variations in dynamics over time in Southern Finland. To control the influence of patient selection and case-mix, total hospital mortality is emphasized as the most appropriate outcome measure of the level of treatment of ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm (RAAA). Total aneurysm mortality (including total hospital mortality of RAAA and other AAA surgery) is introduced as an outcome measure of vascular service.
To test various indicators for comparing the outcomes of diabetic foot care.
All 396,317 patients treated with hypoglycaemic medication in Finland were followed up based on nationwide registers on hospital discharges and causes of death during 1997-2007.
The crude and standardized incidences of lower extremity amputations (LEAs), the minor-major ratio of the first LEA and 2-year survival with a preserved leg after the first minor LEA were used as indicators for regional and temporal variation in diabetic foot care.
A total of 13,469 LEAs were recorded in 1997-2007. The standardized population-corrected rate of first major LEA per 100,000 person-years declined from 10.0 (95% CI 9.6-10.5) to 7.3 (6.9-7.6) (p
To characterize predictors of failure when treating critical limb ischemia (CLI) patients with an endovascular intervention as the first-line strategy.
This retrospective, registry-based study included 217 consecutive patients with 240 chronic critically ischemic limbs treated with infrainguinal percutaneous trans-luminal angioplasty (PTA) during 2006-2007 at Helsinki University Central Hospital, Finland. The primary outcome measures were death, major (above-ankle) amputation, and the need for surgical re-intervention within 6 months after the primary procedure. The secondary out-come measures were overall major amputation and survival rates as well as the overall need for surgical or any other (surgical or endovascular) type of re-intervention. Predictors of outcome endpoints were identified with a univariate screen, and a Cox regression model was used in the multivariate analysis.
Compared to ulcer, gangrene was significantly more strongly associated with amputation within 6 months post-procedurally as well as during the whole follow-up period (p = 0.028). The patient's inability to walk upon hospital arrival was a significant predictor of death, amputation and surgical re-intervention. Mediasclerotic ankle-brachial index (ABI) was an independent predictor of amputation as well as endovascular re-interventions.
The strong predictors of poor outcome after endovascular revascularization for patients with CLI are cardiac morbidity, the inability to ambulate upon hospital arrival, and gangrene as a manifestation of CLI. The risk of amputation seems to be significantly higher for gangrene than for ulcer and this matter should be taken into account in the clinical classifications for CLI.
Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) of 55 mm diameter or growth >5 mm in 6 months are commonly accepted treatment criteria. The aim of this study was to establish the outcome of aneurysms that met the treatment criteria but not the operative requirements.
Patients (n = 154) who were declined from operative care of AAA in Helsinki University Central Hospital (HUCH) during 2000-2010 were retrospectively analysed. Reasons for exclusion were identified. The follow-up period extended until the end of April 2012. The rupture rate and mortality were determined. The patients were analysed according to the aneurysm diameter: 55-60, 61-70 and >70 mm.
The reasons for exclusion from operative treatment were cardiorespiratory co-morbidities in 33%, cancer in 8%, overall condition in 33% and patient's choice in 21% of the patients. Regardless of the size of the aneurysm, the cause of death was aneurysm rupture in 43%, which was confirmed either in hospital or in autopsy for 76% of the patients. Of the ruptured aneurysms, 12 were operated of which five survived.
A ruptured aneurysm is the most common cause of death among patients unfit for surgery; this should be considered in the preoperative evaluation process, especially since 5 of the 12 patients survived the ruptured AAA (RAAA) operation.
Despite peripheral arterial disease (PAD), defined as ankle-brachial index (ABI)or=70 years or calf pain during exercise. A total of 817 patients were recruited.
Research methods included interview and Doppler measurement of brachial and ankle pressures.
An ABI(mod)or=1.4 had the strongest association with CVD.
PAD is highly prevalent among patients presenting to primary care. ABI(mod) calculation detects more number of patients at risk at the cost of reduced specificity. The association of high ABI with CVD noted in this study warrants future research for validation.
To assess the prevalence and clinical significance of elevated ankle-brachial index (ABI) in patients referred to vascular consultation.
Retrospective clinical study.
In 1,762 patients referred with a suspicion of peripheral arterial disease (PAD), ABI and toe brachial index (TBI) were measured by photoplethysmography. ABI>/=1.3 was considered falsely elevated and TBI/=1.3) in recognizing PAD is good, whereas the sensitivity is only satisfactory.
Surgical treatment of carotid stenosis after the onset of ischaemic symptoms should be performed within 2 weeks. This aim was accomplished only in 11% during the years 2007-2008 in the Helsinki University Central Hospital (HUCH) region. Since then, special efforts have been made in order to shorten the delay. The aim of this study was to find out how these changes affected the symptom-to-knife time (SKT).
All symptomatic patients (n = 144) who had carotid endarterectomy (CEA, n = 145) in HUCH in 2010 were retrospectively analysed and the SKT was determined.
Of the operations, 37% (n = 53) were performed within the recommended 2 weeks. The median SKT was 19 days (1-183). Of the patients who came to HUCH on an emergency basis (n = 80), 55% (n = 45) were operated within 2 weeks and their median SKT was 13 days (1-148).
The changes that were made in 2008-2009 have significantly shortened the delay in the treatment of carotid stenosis, but the desired time frame of 2 weeks was reached far too seldom. The greatest benefit from preventive CEA is achieved when patients are referred emergently to a clinic where neurologist, imaging resources and vascular surgeon are available.
The incidence of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) and their rupture has been reported to be decreasing. The aim was to evaluate trends in ruptured AAA (rAAA) incidence in the hospital district of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS) in southern Finland. This was a population-based retrospective review of all patients with rAAA in this well defined geographical area during 2003-2013.
Data for all patients treated for rAAA at Helsinki University Hospital, the only vascular surgery centre in an area of 1·5 million inhabitants, were collected from local vascular registry. All deaths attributed to rAAA were obtained from the cause of death registry of Statistics Finland.
The mean(s.d.) age of the 712 patients with rAAA was 76·5(9·6) years; 76·7 per cent of them were men. Only 330 patients (46·3 per cent of those with rAAA) arrived alive at Helsinki University Hospital. The turn-down rate for surgical treatment was 10·3 per cent. Of the 296 patients operated on, 199 (67·2 per cent) were alive at 30 days. Only 27·9 per cent of all patients were alive 30 days after rupture of the AAA. The incidence of rAAA was 4·3 per 100 000 inhabitants and the mortality rate was 3·2 per 100 000 inhabitants. A decreasing trend was seen in incidence and mortality during the 11-year study interval.
The incidence of rAAA is decreasing in the HUS district. Mortality from rAAA remains very high, because half of the patients die before reaching the hospital.