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Association of malignant disease with critical leg ischaemia. BJS 2005; 92: 1498-1501.

Published: 3rd August 2005

Authors: K. El Sakka, R. P. S. Gambhir, M. Halawa, P. Chong, H. Rashid


The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of malignant disease in patients with critical leg ischaemia (CLI).


Data for all patients with CLI presenting to a tertiary vascular unit over an 18‐month interval were collected prospectively. Patients with clinical, laboratory or radiological features suggestive of malignancy were evaluated further.


Of 192 patients admitted with CLI, 22 (11·5 per cent) were found to have an associated malignancy; ten had lung cancer. Fifteen were anaemic on presentation. The prevalence of occult malignancy in patients with acute leg ischaemia was 16 per cent (ten of 62) compared with 9·2 per cent (12 of 130) in those with chronic CLI. Eleven of 22 of patients with CLI and malignancy died within 6 months, compared with 35 (20·6 per cent) of 170 patients with no evidence of malignancy.


A high prevalence of occult cancer was found in patients presenting with CLI; this was associated with a significantly increased mortality rate at 6 months. Copyright © 2005 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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