UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications


Society for Vascular Surgery Wound, Ischemia, foot Infection (WIfI) score correlates with the intensity of multimodal limb treatment and patient-centered outcomes in patients with threatened limbs managed in a limb preservation center

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Surgery, Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery; Center for Outcomes Research

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OBJECTIVE: The Society for Vascular Surgery Wound, Ischemia, foot Infection (WIfI) system aims to stratify threatened limbs according to their anticipated natural history and estimate the likelihood of benefit from revascularization, but whether it accurately stratifies outcomes in limbs undergoing aggressive treatment for limb salvage is unknown. We investigated whether the WIfI stage correlated with the intensity of limb treatment required and patient-centered outcomes.

METHODS: We stratified limbs from a prospectively maintained database of consecutive patients referred to a limb preservation center according to WIfI stage (October 2013-May 2015). Comorbidities, multimodal limb treatment, including foot operations and revascularization, and patient-centered outcomes (wound healing, limb salvage, amputation-free survival, maintenance of ambulatory and independent living status, and mortality) were compared among WIfI stages. Multivariate analysis was performed to identify predictors of wound healing and limb salvage.

RESULTS: We identified 280 threatened limbs encompassing all WIfI stages in 257 consecutive patients: stage 1, 48 (17%); stage 2, 67 (24%); stage 3, 64 (23%); stage 4, 83 (30%); and stage 5 (unsalvageable), 18 (6%). Operative foot debridement, minor amputation, and use of revascularization increased with increasing WIfI stage (P

CONCLUSIONS: In patients treated aggressively for limb salvage, WIfI stage correlated with intensity of multimodal limb treatment and with limb salvage and patient-centered outcomes at 1 year. Revascularization improved limb salvage in severe ischemia. These data support the Society for Vascular Surgery WIfI system as a powerful tool to risk-stratify patients with threatened limbs and guide treatment.

DOI of Published Version



J Vasc Surg. 2017 Apr 11. pii: S0741-5214(17)30375-0. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2017.01.063. [Epub ahead of print] Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of vascular surgery

PubMed ID