This meta-analysis aimed to evaluate the device performance of conventional balloon catheters (POBA), drug-coated balloons (DCB), bare-metal stents (BMS), and drug-eluting stents (DES) in below-the-knee (BTK) ischemic lesions with regard to lesion characteristics. Online searches of PubMed, Web of Science, and Cochrane databases (2010–2019) were conducted for each of the test devices. Primary patency rates (pp) and major amputation rates 1 year after the use of each device were analyzed using a random-effects meta-analysis model. Meta-regression analysis was conducted to test associations between the outcomes and lesion characteristics. The analysis included 18 studies reporting on 24 separate cohorts comprising 2,438 patients. DES demonstrated the best pp among the test devices (83.6%; 95% confidence interval = 78.4–88.8%, studies = 8; I2 = 66%, P = 0.005). A negative coefficient between lesion length and pp (P = 0.002) was obtained. The ratio of critical limb ischemia (CLI) patients impacted the amputation rates (P = 0.031), whereas no statistically significant difference was found between the devices. DES showed favorable pp in BTK lesions; however, as the lesion lengths using DES were short, pp in long lesions still needs to be evaluated. Shorter lesions gained better pp. A higher ratio of CLI patients resulted in increased amputation rates.
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