Preoperative Chronic Steroid Use is Associated with Increased Incidence of Postoperative Mortality and Limb Loss following Peripheral Arterial Bypass Surgery for Chronic Limb Threatening Ischemia

Leana Dogbe, Ahsan Zil-E-Ali, Kayla J. Krause, Kristine So, Faisal Aziz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Steroids are a commonly prescribed medication in the United States and have been associated with poor surgical and treatment outcomes. The objective of this study is to assess the relationship between chronic steroid use and surgical outcomes of femoropopliteal and femoral-distal bypasses in patients suffering from chronic limb threatening ischemia (CLTI). Methods: All adult patients undergoing femoropopliteal and femoral-distal bypasses with single segment autologous vein with an indication of CLTI in the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS-NSQIP) between 2012 and 2021 were stratified between chronic preoperative steroid use (Group I) and no preoperative use (Group II). Primary outcomes of the study included 30-day mortality, amputation, and combined outcome of mortality and/or limb loss. Secondary outcomes included specific bypass related, cardiovascular, respiratory and renal outcomes. Results: A total of 8,324 patients (66.8% Male, 33.2% Females) underwent peripheral arterial bypass operations for the indication of chronic limb threatening ischemia. The median age was 68 years. Group I included 408 patients (4.9%) and Group II included 7,916 patients (95.1%). As compared to patients in Group II, those in Group I were more likely to be females (Group I: 42.2% vs. Group II: 32.8%), more likely to have co-existing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (Group I: 20.6% vs. Group II: 11.8%), less likely to be diabetic (Group I: 45.9% vs. Group II: 48%), less likely to be smokers (Group I: 30.6% vs. Group II: 45.4%) and more likely to be in American Society of Anesthesiologists III or IV Classes (Group I: 98% vs. Group II: 96.5%) (all P < 0.05). Primary outcomes were as follows: 30-day mortality (Group I: 3.3% vs. Group II: 1.7%), amputation (Group I: 5.9% vs. Group II: 2.8%), 30-day mortality and/or amputation (Group I: 9.1% vs. Group II: 4.5%) (all P < 0.05). Among secondary outcomes, the following were found to be statistically significant: untreated loss of patency (Group I: 4.2% vs. Group II: 1.7%), significant bleeding (Group I: 26.2% vs. Group II: 16.5%), wound infection/complication (Group I: 18.6% vs. Group II: 15%), and return to operating room (Group I: 21.8% vs. Group II: 16.7%) (all P < 0.05). As compared to patients with an indication of tissue loss (Rutherford's class V and VI), patients in Group I with an indication of rest pain (Rutherford's class IV) were more likely to experience 30-day mortality, major amputation and a composite of mortality and amputation. Risk adjusted analysis showed that chronic steroid use has a statistically significant effect on 30-day mortality (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 1.7, P = 0.05), amputation (AOR 2.05, P < 0.001), composite outcomes of mortality and amputation (AOR 1.959, P < 0.001), untreated loss of patency (AOR 2.31, P = 0.002), bleeding (AOR 1.33, P < 0.011) and unplanned return to the operating room (AOR 1.36, P = 0.014). Conclusions: Chronic steroid use in patients undergoing femoropopliteal or femoral-distal bypass is associated with a higher risk of 30-day mortality, major amputation, readmission, bleeding, return to operating room, and untreated loss of patency. No significant difference in outcomes were appreciated in patients with chronic steroid use and with Rutherford class V or VI disease (tissue loss), suggesting that the effects of steroids may be less prominent in those with the most advanced peripheral arterial disease. These findings may aid physicians with risk stratification and preoperative discussions regarding open revascularization in patients receiving chronic steroid therapy. More studies including randomized trials are needed to guide perioperative management of steroids in this cohort.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-104
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of Vascular Surgery
StatePublished - Apr 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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