What is the prognosis of thromboangiitis obliterans (TAO) (Buerger disease)?

Updated: Jul 27, 2020
  • Author: Naiem Nassiri, MD; Chief Editor: Vincent Lopez Rowe, MD  more...
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Death from TAO is rare. Between 1999 and 2007, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC), TAO (code I73.1 in the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision [ICD-10] [6] ) was the underlying cause of 117 deaths in the United States.

A striking dichotomy is observed in the prognosis of patients with TAO, which is dependent on whether absolute avoidance of tobacco is achieved. Among patients who stop using tobacco, 94% avoid amputation; among patients who stop using tobacco before progression to critical limb ischemia, the amputation rate is near 0%. In stark contrast, among patients who continue using tobacco, there is an 8-year amputation rate of 43%.

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