German guideline on the diagnosis an treatment of peripheral artery disease – a comprehensive update 2016

Vasa. DOI: 10.1024/0301-1526/a000603. © 2017 Hogrefe AG.
German guideline on the diagnosis and treatment of peripheral artery disease – a comprehensive update 2016
Holger LawallRelated informationAkademie für Gefäßkrankheiten Ettlingen, Max Grundig Klinik, Bühlerhöhe, Germany
, Peter HuppertRelated informationInstitut für Radiologie, Klinikum Darmstadt, Germany
, Christine Espinola-KleinRelated informationZentrum für Kardiologie, Abt. Angiologie, Universitätsmedizin Mainz, Germany
, Claudia Silke ZemmrichRelated informationInstitute for Pharmacology and Preventive Medicine, Mahlow, Germany
, and Gerhard RuemenapfRelated informationKlinik für Gefäßchirurgie, Diakonissen-Stiftungs-Krankenhaus Speyer, Germany
Received October 13, 2016
Accepted November 7, 2016
Published online Januar 27, 2017

Abstract. The prevalence of peripheral artery disease (PAD) is increasing worldwide and is strongly age-related, affecting about 20 % of Germans over 70 years of age. Recent advances in endovascular and surgical techniques as well as clinical study results on comparative treatment methods strengthened the need for a comprehensive review of the published evidence for diagnosis, management, and prevention of PAD.  The interdisciplinary guideline exclusively covers distal aorta and atherosclerotic lower extremity artery disease. A systematic literature review and formal consensus finding process, including delegated members of 22 medical societies and two patient self-support organisations were conducted and supervised by the Association of Scientific Medical Societies in Germany, AWMF. Three levels of recommendation were defined, A = „is recommended/indicated”, B = „should be considered”, C = “may be considered”, means agreement of expert opinions due to lack of evidence. Altogether 294 articles, including 34 systematic reviews and 98 RCTs have been analysed. The key diagnostic tools and treatment basics have been defined. In patients with intermittent claudication endovascular and/or surgical techniques are treatment options depending on appropriate individual morphology and patient preference. In critical limb ischaemia, revascularisation without delay by means of the most appropriate technique is key. If possible and reasonable, endovascular procedures should be applied first. The TASC classification is no longer recommended as the base of therapeutic decision process due to advances in endovascular techniques and new crural therapeutic options. Limited new data on rehabilitation and follow-up therapies have been integrated. The article summarises major new aspects of PAD treatment from the updated German Guidelines for Diagnosis and Treatment of PAD. Limited scientific evidence still calls for randomised clinical trials to close the present gap of evidence.

Schlüsselwörter:Peripheral artery disease, diagnosis, treatment, update, guideline update
Dr. Holger Lawall, Akademie für Gefäßkrankheiten Ettlingen, Lindenweg 1, 76275 Ettlingen, Max Grundig Klinik Bühlerhöhe, Germany, E-mail