Intraluminal arterial stenting for the management of arterial occlusive disease of the lower extremities has evolved over the years. Most stents are used to correct inadequacies of PTA or to correct a PTA complication. These include (1) restenosis within 90 days of PTA, (2) chronic iliac occlusion, (3) acute occlusions during PTA, (4) a significant residual gradient following PTA, (5) dissections longer than the angioplasty site, and (6) a 30% or greater residual stenosis after PTA. Both the Palmaz stent and the Wallstent have performed well in the iliac artery system. Their use in the femoropopliteal system has not been as successful and should be reserved for selected cases. Long-term anticoagulation is generally required for femoropopliteal stent patency. Placement in the lower superficial femoral or popliteal artery is best avoided. Reangioplasty or additional stenting may be used to prolong patency, although with the risk of a second intervention, Progression of arteriosclerosis is a factor to consider when choosing an endoluminal treatment versus standard bypass.
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