Labropoulos N, Wierks C, Suffoletto B.
Intermittent pneumatic compression for the treatment of lower extremity arterial
disease: a systematic review.
Vasc Med 2002 May;7(2):141-8

Department of Surgery, Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, IL 60153-3304,

This study aimed to identify the role of intermittent pneumatic compression in
treating peripheral arterial disease and to investigate the types of treatment
programs that are most effective. Data was sourced from English-language articles
which were identified by a computer search using MEDLINE from 1966 to 2001,
followed by extensive bibliography review. Studies were included if they
contained pertinent material involving a compression device and arterial flow
dynamics in lower limbs. A total of 26 English-language studies were identified
that met the inclusion criteria. The diverse patient criteria and methods used in
the studies provided an opportunity to examine the effectiveness of each, but
made it difficult to compare one study with another. To assist in focusing on
overall trends in improvement, patient type and treatment type disparities must
be identified. In conclusion, it is evident that an intermittent pneumatic
compression program appears promising and may be used in patients with severe
peripheral arterial disease who are not candidates for revascularization using
surgery or percutaneous angioplasty. It is now the goal to establish randomized,
prospective, controlled trials to clarify the most beneficial regimen for
treating such disease.