Background: The identification of patients at higher risk of developing percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA)-related complications is pivotal for achieving better clinical outcomes. We carried out a single-center, observational, retrospective study to explore whether in-hospital changes of red blood cell distribution width (RDW) may help predicting early development of PTA-related complications.Methods: The study population consisted of all consecutive patients who underwent PTA for severe peripheral artery occlusive disease (PAOD) during a 2-year period. RDW was measured at hospital admission and discharge, and the delta was calculated. Patient follow-up was routinely performed 1-month after hospital discharge, and was based on thoughtful medical assessment and arterial ultrasonography. The control population consisted of 352 ostensibly healthy subjects.Results: The final PTA group consisted of 224 patients. Hemoglobin was lower, whilst mean corpuscular volume (MCV) and RDW were higher in PAOD cases than in controls. Overall, 11 PAOD patients (4.9%) developed clinically significant PTA-related complications 1-month after hospital discharge. Patients who developed 1-month PTA-related complications had lower hemoglobin concentration, but higher RDW and delta RDW than those who did not. Patients with delta RDW >1 had 60% higher risk of developing 1-month PTA-related complications and 88% higher risk of developing early reocclusion. Overall, RDW exhibited an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.68 and 0.74 for predicting 1-month PTA-related complications and early reocclusion, respectively.Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that RDW may play a role for guiding the clinical decision making of PTA patients immediately after hospital discharge.
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