Circulator boot therapy alters the natural history of ischemic limb ulceration

Adrian Vella, Lori A. Carlson, Bill Blier, Cindy Felty, James D. Kuiper, Thom W. Rooke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Despite numerous advances in interventional radiology and vascular surgery, the clinician continues to be confronted with inoperable vascular disease. Previous studies have shown that ulceration associated with a transcutaneous oxygen pressure (tcPO2) of <20 mmHg is refractory to all attempts at healing. External pneumatic compression for the treatment of peripheral vascular disease has been available for several years, although there is a relative paucity of data regarding its role in clinical practice as well as its efficacy. The objective of this study was to examine the experience with circulator boot therapy in the treatment of ischemic ulcers in the absence of osteomyelitis, and specifically to determine whether such therapy can be of benefit in ischemic limb ulceration associated with a tcPO2 of <20 mmHg. A retrospective chart review was undertaken of all patients with a lower limb ulcer who, in the absence of osteomyelitis, underwent circulator boot therapy at the Gonda Vascular Center. A total of 98 patients was identified. Two patients died within 1 month of commencing therapy and were not included in further analysis. The tcPO2 data were unavailable in five patients. Outcome in the patient population was classified as favorable if (1) healing was achieved, (2) the ulcer decreased in size, or (3) the affected limb improved sufficiently to allow successful revascularization. An unfavorable outcome was one where a major amputation was performed or where the ulcer increased in size. Out of a total of 29 patients with a tcPO2 <20 mmHg at the area of ulceration, 19 had a favorable outcome following circulator boot therapy. Of the remaining 62 patients with a tcPO2 >20 mmHg, 54 had a favorable outcome. Circulator boot therapy is associated with improved outcomes in limb ulceration due to peripheral vascular disease. Complete ulcer healing as well as preservation of the affected limb can be achieved in most cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-25
Number of pages5
JournalVascular Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000


  • Critical limb ischemia
  • Transcutaneous oximetry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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