Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg 2004;27:193-200.

Lower limb amputations in Southern Finland in 2000 and trends up to 2001.

Eskelinen E, Lepäntalo M, Hietala E-M, Sell H, Kauppila L, Mäenpää I, Pitkänen J, Salminen-Peltola P, Leutola S, Eskelinen A, Kivioja A, Tukiainen E, Lukinmaa A, Brasken P, Railo M.

OBJECTIVES: To assess the current incidence of major lower limb amputations in Southern Finland and epidemiological trends during the last 17 years.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: In a retrospective survey for the year 2000 patient data was gathered from hospital records in the eight surgical hospitals in the area studied. Follow-up was 1 year. Amputation data for years 1984-1995 was gathered from reports done before at the same area and amputation figures for years 1990-2001 also from the National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health.

RESULTS: In year 2000, the incidence of major amputations was 154/million inhabitants. The reason for major amputation was chronic critical lower limb ischaemia in 71.8% and acute ischaemia in 16.5% of the cases. The below-knee (BK)/above-knee (AK) ratio was 0.76. After 1 year only 48% of the patients were alive. From 1984 to 2000 amputation incidence showed a decrease of 41%. The decline in age-adjusted amputation incidence from 1990 to 2000 was 30% and by 2001 as much as 40%. There was a significant inverse correlation both between incidence of infrainguinal bypass and amputation (r=-0.682, p=0.021) and between infrapopliteal bypass and amputation (r=-0.682, p=0.021).

CONCLUSIONS: There was a reduction in the number of amputations in Southern Finland during the past 17 years. This occurred synchronously with the increase in vascular reconstructions. Our data suggests that vascular surgery saves patients from BK-amputations and therefore relative amount of AK-amputations inevitably rises.

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