IMPORTANCE To our knowledge, there is no level 1 evidence comparing open bypass with angioplasty and stenting in TransAtlantic Inter-Society Consensus (TASC II) B and C superficial femoral artery lesions. The Revascularization With Open Bypass vs Angioplasty and Stenting of the Lower Extremity Trial (ROBUST) is the first prospective randomized clinical trial comparing both treatments.
OBJECTIVES To report the design of the ROBUST trial. The primary aim of the trial is to compare (1) the patency rate (primary, primary assisted, and secondary patency at 6 and 12 months), (2) improvement of quality of life, (3) clinical improvement (at least 1 Rutherford category), and (4) wound healing and limb salvage in patients presenting with critical limb ischemia; secondary aims include (1) cost-effectiveness by factoring procedure and hospital admission costs including rehabilitation, readmission, and reintervention costs, (2) amputation-free survival, (3) reintervention rate, and (4) 30-day operative mortality, morbidity, and wound and access complications.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS ROBUST is a prospective randomized clinical trial with the aim to enroll 320 patients with intermittent claudication that does not respond to medical management and patients with critical limb ischemia. The maximum level of medical therapy will be administered using antiplatelet agents and statins, as well as measures to control hypertension and diabetes mellitus.
INTERVENTIONS Patients with TASC II B or C lesions are prospectively randomized to receive either femoropopliteal bypass or percutaneous transluminal angioplasty and stenting; patients with TASC II A and D lesions are not randomized and receive percutaneous transluminal angioplasty and stenting or femoropopliteal bypass, respectively. All patients will be evaluated at 1, 6, and 12 months postoperatively with physical examination, ankle brachial index, duplex, and a quality-of-life questionnaire.
RESULTS The trial is actively enrolling participants. At the time of writing, 29 patients have been enrolled; most are male (60%) and white (65%).
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Providing level 1 evidence, ROBUSTmay help to establish guidelines for the treatment of superficial femoral artery lesions, eliminate unnecessary procedures, and reduce health care costs.
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