OBJECTIVES: To examine the level of agreement among vascular surgeons and interventional radiologists regarding their preference for the surgical or endovascular management of severe limb ischaemia. DESIGN: Delphi consensus study using 596 different hypothetical patient scenarios. PARTICIPANTS: Delphi consensus group for the Bypass versus Angioplasty in Severe Ischaemia of the Leg (BASIL) trial. METHODS: Twenty consultant vascular surgeons and 17 interventional radiologists completed both rounds of the study. The scenarios detailed the anatomical extent of disease, whether the patients had rest pain only or had tissue loss, and whether or not a suitable vein for bypass was available. Panellists were asked to score their treatment preference for either surgery or angioplasty on an eight-point scale. Outliers (top 10% and bottom 10% responses) were removed. If the remaining 80% of responses fell within a 3-point range, this was defined as "agreement". If they did not, this was considered "disagreement". RESULTS: There was substantial disagreement in 484 (81%) of scenarios in round 1 and 401 (67%) in round 2. This disagreement was greater among surgeon than radiologists in both round 1 (83 vs 65%) and round 2 (69 vs 42%). Surgeons also demonstrated less convergence between rounds. CONCLUSIONS: There is substantial disagreement between and among surgeons and radiologists with regard to the appropriateness of surgery or angioplasty for severe limb ischaemia. This lack of consensus stems from the absence of an evidence base and means that the same patient may receive entirely different treatment depending on which hospital and consultant they attend. Not only may this unexplained variation be clinically unsatisfactory, it has major implications for the planning and use of health service resources.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Nov 2002|