This article is part of the supplement: Selected articles from the XXV National Congress of the Italian Society of Geriatric Surgery

Open Access Research article

The role of atherectomy in the treatment of lower extremity peripheral artery disease

Anna Franzone1, Marco Ferrone1, Giuseppe Carotenuto1, Andreina Carbone1, Laura Scudiero1, Federica Serino1, Fernando Scudiero1, Raffaele Izzo1, Raffaele Piccolo1, Savio Saviano1, Bruno Amato2, Cinzia Perrino1, Bruno Trimarco1 and Giovanni Esposito1*

Author affiliations

1 Department of Clinical Medicine, Cardiovascular and Immunological Sciences, Federico II University, Via S. Pansini 5, 80131, Naples, Italy

2 Department of General, Geriatric, Oncologic Surgery and Advanced Technologies, Federico II University, Via S. Pansini 5, 80131, Naples, Italy

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Citation and License

BMC Surgery 2012, 12(Suppl 1):S13  doi:10.1186/1471-2482-12-S1-S13

Published: 15 November 2012



The incidence of lower extremity peripheral artery disease (LE-PAD) continues to increase and associated morbidity remains high. Despite the significant development of percutaneous revascularization strategies, over the past decade, LE-PAD still represents a unique challenge for interventional cardiologists and vascular surgeons.


Typical features of atherosclerosis that affects peripheral vascular bed (diffuse nature, poor distal runoff, critical limb ischemia, chronic total occlusion) contribute to the disappointing results of traditional percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA). New technologies have been developed in attempt to improve the safety and effectiveness of percutaneous revascularization. Among these, atherectomy, debulking and removing atherosclerotic plaque, offers the potential advantage of eliminating stretch on arterial walls and reducing rates of restenosis.


This review summarizes the features and the current applications of new debulking devices.