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November 1969

Arterial Embolism of the Extremities: Experience With 62 Patients

Author Affiliations

Morgantown, WVa
From the Department of Surgery, West Virginia University Medical Center, Morgantown.

Arch Surg. 1969;99(5):615-618. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1969.01340170067015

An increasing number of emboli have been removed surgically following the first successful operation of George Labey in 1911.1 The need for prompt extraction within ten hours was recognized by Key in 1922 and has been subsequently documented repeatedly.2 During the last two decades, embolectomy has become a common undertaking, yet the results remain less than optimal. In order to uncover some of the reasons for this, the West Virginia University Hospital experience with arterial embolism of the extremities has been reviewed.

Materials and Methods  From 1960 to 1968, a total of 62 patients with 65 emboli were encountered (Table 1). Men outnumbered women. The right side was slightly more frequently involved than the left. The greatest incidence occurred during the seventh decade, but there were an appreciable number in the fifth and sixth decades. Very few patients were seen below the age of 50 (Table 2).Atrial