The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) convened this multi-disciplinary Working Group (WG) to encourage a broad-based discussion about gaps in knowledge of best clinical practices for surgical and endovascular treatment of peripheral vascular disease (PVD). The primary goals were to seek consensus on PVD research priorities and identify research challenges. Experts in vascular surgery, interventional cardiology, interventional radiology, and vascular medicine were invited to participate. Comments were also broadly solicited in advance of the meeting from membership of several professional organizations including the Society for Vascular Surgery, the Society of Interventional Radiology, the Society of Vascular Medicine, the Council on PVD of the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, and the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions. The NHLBI viewed this WG as a step toward increased collaborative design and conduct of studies that could potentially improve decision-making and outcomes for patients with PVD. The WG addresses NHLBI Strategic Goals 2 & 3.
PVD, defined as non-coronary arterial and venous disease, includes common disorders such as atherosclerotic occlusive disease, aneurysm, and venous thromboembolism (VTE) that are responsible for substantial disability and mortality, as well as high healthcare costs. Treatment options for vascular repair and revascularization in the peripheral circulation include many permutations of surgical and catheter-based endovascular procedures, provided in conjunction with medical therapy. In view of the fact that several different specialists routinely perform endovascular interventions for PVD, collaborative research efforts across disciplines will best ensure agreement about clinical study design and feasibility of enrollment.
WG panel discussions were centered on identifying research priorities related to anatomic categories of PVD. They went on to highlight cross-cutting themes that impact multiple PVD areas, including risk stratification methods, study design issues, and the need for a robust research infrastructure. The WG also identified specific research challenges affecting PVD research beyond those common to most clinical research. These included the lack of a strong culture or tradition in pursuing collaborative research; pressure to adopt new technology, often off-label, before clear evidence of long-term safety and superiority is available; and a lack of established criteria for operator competency.
Research priorities in each specific area were ranked by the WG after discussion of their expected clinical impact. General considerations for judging impact included magnitude of the clinical problem, limitations of current therapy, and opportunity for clinical benefit. Gap areas of highest priority are listed below:
The WG will develop a report of the meeting for publication in an appropriate peer-reviewed journal.
Last Updated: August 2012