W J McCarthy

Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL, United States

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Publications (93)284.75 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Basic research suggests that rapid increases in circulating inflammatory and hemostatic blood markers may trigger or indicate impending plaque rupture and coronary thrombosis, resulting in acute ischemic heart disease (IHD) events. However, these associations are not established in humans. The Biomarker Risk Assessment in Vulnerable Outpatients (BRAVO) Study will determine whether levels of inflammatory and hemostatic biomarkers rapidly increase during the weeks prior to an acute IHD event in people with lower extremity peripheral artery disease (PAD). The BRAVO Study will determine whether biomarker levels measured immediately prior to an IHD event are higher than levels not preceding an IHD event; whether participants who experience an IHD event (cases) have higher biomarker levels immediately prior to the event and higher biomarker levels at each time point leading up to the IHD event than participants without an IHD event (controls); and whether case participants have greater increases in biomarkers during the months leading up to the event than controls. BRAVO enrolled 595 patients with PAD, a population at high risk for acute IHD events. After a baseline visit, participants returned every two months for blood collection, underwent an electrocardiogram to identify new silent myocardial infarctions, and were queried about new hospitalizations since their prior study visit. Mortality data were also collected. Participants were followed prospectively for up to three years. BRAVO results will provide important information about the pathophysiology of IHD events and may lead to improved therapies for preventing IHD events in high-risk patients.
    Contemporary clinical trials 04/2014; · 1.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A 29-year-old female with a history of relapsing polychondritis (RP) and open repair of a proximal descending thoracic aneurysm presented with 2 areas of asymptomatic thoracic aortic aneurysmal dilatation. The patient returned 3 months later with symptomatic aneurysm expansion, and she underwent ascending aortic arch replacement. She subsequently underwent staged endovascular repair of the distal descending thoracic aorta. RP is a rare disorder with an incidence of 3.5 per million persons annually, 4% to 7% of whom develop aneurysmal disease. Because of the aneurysmal potential of this disease, it is important for vascular surgeons to be aware of its presentation and treatment. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case describing endovascular technique to treat such a patient.
    Vascular and Endovascular Surgery 05/2013; · 0.88 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Vascular Surgery. 10/2012; 56(4):1192–1193.
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    ABSTRACT: Arteriovenous (AV) loop grafts are a type of vascular conduit that can be used to support free tissue transfer. Wounds of various etiologies may require free tissue transfer, and the AV loop graft is a useful adjunct when adjacent blood supply is inadequate. Here we present 2 cases and review the technique and published literature.
    Vascular and Endovascular Surgery 01/2012; 46(1):30-3. · 0.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We studied associations of magnetic resonance imaging measurements of plaque area and relative percent lumen reduction in the proximal superficial femoral artery with functional performance among participants with peripheral arterial disease. The clinical significance of directly imaged plaque characteristics in lower extremity arteries is not well established. A total of 454 participants with an ankle brachial index <1.00 underwent magnetic resonance cross-sectional imaging of the proximal superficial femoral artery and completed a 6-min walk test, measurement of 4-m walking velocity at usual and fastest pace, and measurement of physical activity with a vertical accelerometer. Adjusting for age, sex, race, body mass index, smoking, statin use, comorbidities, and other covariates, higher mean plaque area (1st quintile [least plaque]: 394 m, 2nd quintile: 360 m, 3rd quintile: 359 m, 4th quintile: 329 m, 5th quintile [greatest plaque]: 311 m; p trend <0.001) and smaller mean percent lumen area (1st quintile [greatest plaque]: 319 m, 2nd quintile: 330 m, 3rd quintile: 364 m, 4th quintile: 350 m, 5th quintile: 390 m; p trend <0.001) were associated with shorter distance achieved in the 6-min walk test. Greater mean plaque area was also associated with slower usual-paced walking velocity (p trend = 0.006) and slower fastest-paced 4-m walking velocity (p trend = 0.003). Associations of mean plaque area and mean lumen area with 6-min walk distance remained statistically significant even after additional adjustment for the ankle brachial index and leg symptoms. Among participants with peripheral arterial disease, greater plaque burden and smaller lumen area in the proximal superficial femoral artery are associated independently with poorer functional performance, even after adjusting for the ankle brachial index and leg symptoms.
    JACC. Cardiovascular imaging 07/2011; 4(7):730-9. · 14.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The clinical significance of magnetic resonance-imaged plaque characteristics in the superficial femoral artery (SFA) is not well established. We studied associations of the ankle-brachial index (ABI) and leg symptoms with MRI-measured plaque area and percent lumen area in the SFA in participants with and without lower-extremity peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Four hundred twenty-seven participants (393 with PAD) underwent plaque imaging of the first 30 mm of the SFA. Twelve 2.5-mm cross-sectional images of the SFA were obtained. Outcomes were normalized plaque area, adjusted for artery size (0 to 1 scale, 1=greatest plaque), and lumen area, expressed as a percent of the total artery area. Adjusting for age, sex, race, smoking, statins, cholesterol, and other covariates, lower ABI values were associated with higher normalized mean plaque area (ABI <0.50:0.79; ABI 0.50 to 0.69:0.73; ABI 0.70 to 0.89:0.65; ABI 0.90 to 0.99:0.62; ABI 1.00 to 1.09:0.48; ABI 1.10 to 1.30:0.47 (P trend <0.001)) and smaller mean percent lumen area (P trend <0.001). Compared with PAD participants with intermittent claudication, asymptomatic PAD participants had lower normalized mean plaque area (0.72 versus 0.65, P=0.005) and larger mean percent lumen area (0.30 versus 0.36, P=0.01), adjusting for the ABI and other confounders. Lower ABI values are associated with greater MRI-measured plaque burden and smaller lumen area in the first 30 mm of the SFA. Compared with PAD participants with claudication, asymptomatic PAD participants have smaller plaque area and larger lumen area in the SFA. Clinical Trial Registration- URL: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT00520312.
    Circulation Cardiovascular Imaging 03/2011; 4(3):246-52. · 5.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We determined whether higher levels of physical activity in daily life are associated with better brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD) among individuals with lower extremity peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Participants were 111 men and women with PAD (ankle-brachial index (ABI) <or= 0.95) who completed baseline testing in the Study to Improve Leg Circulation (SILC). We evaluated FMD of the brachial artery at baseline and at 60 seconds following 4 minutes of suprasystolic blood pressure cuff inflation. Physical activity was measured continuously over 7 days using a vertical accelerometer (Caltrac) and a pedometer (Digiwalker). Adjusting for age, sex, race, ABI, cardiovascular risk factors and other potential confounders, higher levels of physical activity were associated with a greater percent change in brachial artery FMD at 60 seconds post cuff deflation for both Caltrac (1st tertile of activity +4.81% change; 2nd tertile +4.60% change; 3rd tertile +7.23% change; p-trend = 0.018) and the Digiwalker (1st tertile of activity +3.76% change; 2nd tertile +6.25% change; 3rd tertile +7.25% change; p-trend = 0.001). Similar findings were observed for absolute change in brachial artery FMD 60 seconds after cuff deflation. In conclusion, higher levels of physical activity during daily life are associated significantly and independently with better brachial artery FMD among individuals with PAD, even after adjusting for confounders.
    Vascular Medicine 09/2009; 14(3):193-201. · 1.62 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: With increasing use of endovascular techniques for repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms, the prevalence of leakage into excluded aneurysm sacs (endoleaks) as a complication has risen. We will describe and illustrate the imaging findings for endoleaks involving abdominal aortic aneurysms. We will also discuss which types of endoleaks require urgent catheter-based evaluation. CONCLUSION: Radiologists should be familiar with the classification scheme for endoleaks and understand which types of endoleaks require urgent catheter-based evaluation.
    American Journal of Roentgenology 05/2009; 192(4):W178-86. · 2.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neither supervised treadmill exercise nor strength training for patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) without intermittent claudication have been established as beneficial. To determine whether supervised treadmill exercise or lower extremity resistance training improve functional performance of patients with PAD with or without claudication. Randomized controlled clinical trial performed at an urban academic medical center between April 1, 2004, and August 8, 2008, involving 156 patients with PAD who were randomly assigned to supervised treadmill exercise, to lower extremity resistance training, or to a control group. Six-minute walk performance and the short physical performance battery. Secondary outcomes were brachial artery flow-mediated dilation, treadmill walking performance, the Walking Impairment Questionnaire, and the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey physical functioning (SF-36 PF) score. For the 6-minute walk, those in the supervised treadmill exercise group increased their distance walked by 35.9 m (95% confidence interval [CI], 15.3-56.5 m; P < .001) compared with the control group, whereas those in the resistance training group increased their distance walked by 12.4 m (95% CI, -8.42 to 33.3 m; P = .24) compared with the control group. Neither exercise group improved its short physical performance battery scores. For brachial artery flow-mediated dilation, those in the treadmill group had a mean improvement of 1.53% (95% CI, 0.35%-2.70%; P = .02) compared with the control group. The treadmill group had greater increases in maximal treadmill walking time (3.44 minutes; 95% CI, 2.05-4.84 minutes; P < .001); walking impairment distance score (10.7; 95% CI, 1.56-19.9; P = .02); and SF-36 PF score (7.5; 95% CI, 0.00-15.0; P = .02) than the control group. The resistance training group had greater increases in maximal treadmill walking time (1.90 minutes; 95% CI, 0.49-3.31 minutes; P = .009); walking impairment scores for distance (6.92; 95% CI, 1.07-12.8; P = .02) and stair climbing (10.4; 95% CI, 0.00-20.8; P = .03); and SF-36 PF score (7.5; 95% CI, 0.0-15.0; P = .04) than the control group. Supervised treadmill training improved 6-minute walk performance, treadmill walking performance, brachial artery flow-mediated dilation, and quality of life but did not improve the short physical performance battery scores of PAD participants with and without intermittent claudication. Lower extremity resistance training improved functional performance measured by treadmill walking, quality of life, and stair climbing ability. clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00106327.
    JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association 01/2009; 301(2):165-74. · 29.98 Impact Factor
  • Walter J McCarthy
    Journal of Vascular Surgery 04/2008; 47(3):682-7. · 2.88 Impact Factor
  • Chad E. Jacobs, Walter J. McCarthy
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    ABSTRACT: Innovations in surgery, radiology, and medical management during the past 30 years have allowed patients who once faced certain amputation as a result of leg ischemia to be offered a variety of alternatives. Patients with limb-threatening ischemia differ from those with intermittent claudication in regard to both natural history and treatment requirements. Management of patients with claudication involves risk factor modification, exercise regimens, and pharmacologic intervention. This group rarely requires amputation. Patients with critical limb ischemia are most often treated surgically in order to preserve limb functionality. Five year rates of limb salvage for this patient population have been shown to be 81 % for femoropopliteal bypass and 47% for infrapopliteal bypass (1). However, despite continued additions to our treatment armamentarium, it has been shown that amputation rates have remained the same over the past decade (2). The mortality from major amputations is generally reported to be 3 to 10% (3), but in selected populations, such as those over 80 years old, mortality may be as high as 82% (4). In addition, the rehabilitation outcome after amputation for nonrecon-structible arterial disease is usually overestimated. One recent study (5) reported that only 26% of patients were able to ambulate outdoors with a prosthesis 2 years after major amputation. Another study predicted that the number of amputations performed in the geriatric population will double by the year 2030 (6).
    11/2007: pages 269-292;
  • Annals of Vascular Surgery 06/2007; 21(3):296-300. · 0.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hemophilia is a sex-linked condition affecting about 1 of every 5000 males in the United States. The management of children with hemophilia can be improved with regular intravenous infusion of factor VIII or IX, thus preventing crippling and sometimes fatal hemorrhage. Maintaining this vital intravenous access is often hampered by gradual loss of superficial veins or repeated central catheter sepsis and thrombosis. This study reviewed an experience with arteriovenous fistula in selected hemophilia patients with limited venous access. Consecutive patients operated on between October 2000 and July 2006 for venous access with the creation of an arteriovenous fistula were reviewed. They were selected because of repeated problems with other venous access. Patency, ease of use, duplex scan derived brachial artery diameter, and arm length were assessed. During a 69-month period, 10 arteriovenous fistulas (five brachial artery-basilic vein fistulas, 5 brachial artery-cephalic vein fistulas) were created for nine patients. The patients were a median age of 5.5 years (range, 1 to 27 years), and all were <13 except the 27-year-old patient. There were no postoperative hematomas requiring evacuation. One arteriovenous fistula failed to mature and was redone in the opposite arm, which subsequently occluded after 13 months. Of the mature fistulas, patency was 100% at 1 year, 80% (4/5) at 3 years, and 75% (3/4) at 4 years, with mean follow-up of 22 months. Brachial artery diameter increased in the involved arm by a ratio of 1.95 (range, 1.51 to 2.5) compared with the opposite arm. Arm length disparity was increased by 0.5 cm (range, 0.8 to 1.5 cm) in the involved arm. All fistulas allowed good access at home by a care provider. For hemophilia patients with compromised venous access, arteriovenous fistulas provide good early patency. Brachial artery diameter and arm length require continued follow-up.
    Journal of Vascular Surgery 05/2007; 45(5):986-90; discussion 990-1. · 2.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: African Americans have a much higher risk of major (above- or below-knee) lower extremity amputation and a lower rate of limb-preserving vascular surgery or angioplasty than white patients. This article analyzes two potential pathways for racial disparities: primary amputation, defined as a major amputation performed without any prior attempt at revascularization, and repeat amputation, defined as a major amputation subsequent to a previous through-foot or major amputation. Randomly selected medical records were reviewed for 248 African American, 30 Hispanic, and 235 white or other-race patients undergoing above- or below-knee amputation between 1995 and 2003 at three Chicago teaching hospitals. Chronic disease prevalence and severity, preadmission functional status, clinical presentation, and vascular history were used to test the risk-adjusted effect of race and ethnicity on rates of primary and repeat amputation. Controlling for demographic, functional, chronic disease, and clinical characteristics, African American patients were 1.7 times more likely to have undergone both primary (P = .01) and repeat (P = .03) amputation than white or other-race amputees. Race remained a significant independent risk factor even after controlling for the higher severity of illness, greater disability, and more complex presentation of African American amputees. Higher rates of primary and repeat amputation for African American patients at study hospitals, which all have significant vascular surgery capacity and an aggressive policy of limb salvage, suggest that these rates may be even higher at less well equipped institutions. Improving access to primary and preventive care for lower-income patients could reduce amputation rates among African Americans.
    Journal of Vascular Surgery 06/2005; 41(5):823-9. · 2.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To assess whether cilostazol, a phosphodiesterase III inhibitor, improves treadmill and community-based walking ability and health-related quality of life (HQL) in patients with intermittent claudication resulting from peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Retrospective meta-analysis of data pooled from six Phase 3, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, randomized studies. Patients were recruited from outpatient ambulatory medical care facilities. Patients' (n = 1,751) mean age +/- standard deviation was 65 +/- 9, and they had a history of PAD for 6 months or longer and an ankle brachial index (ABI) of 0.90 or less. Cilostazol 50 mg bid or 100 mg bid for 12, 16, or 24 weeks. ABI; maximal walking distance (MWD); pain-free walking distance on a graded and constant-load treadmill; and HQL, measured using the Walking Impairment Questionnaire (WIQ) and the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-36 (SF-36). Maximal treadmill walking distance improved more in both cilostazol groups than in the placebo group (both P <.0001). WIQ and SF-36 physical summary scores improved significantly more with cilostazol than with placebo (for instance, WIQ distance score, P <.0001 and SF-36 physical summary score, P <.0001, comparing persons taking cilostazol with controls). Improved MWD correlated with improvements in WIQ (correlation with distance score, r = 0.34, P <.0001) and SF-36 physical summary scores (r = 0.29, P <.0001). Treatment with cilostazol was associated with greater improvements in community-based walking ability and HQL in patients with intermittent claudication than treatment with placebo. These improvements correlated with increased MWD. This analysis of effects of cilostazol on improving walking ability in persons with claudication is the first cilostazol study focused on community-based measures of functional status and HQL. Questionnaires assessing walking ability and HQL provide important patient-based information about clinical outcomes of claudication therapy.
    Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 12/2002; 50(12):1939-46. · 4.22 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Vascular Surgery 01/2001; 32(6):1239-50. · 2.88 Impact Factor
  • J Feinglass, M Morasch, W J McCarthy
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    ABSTRACT: Lower-extremity vascular surgery is most often indicated for patients with critical leg ischemia but has increasingly been used for patients with disabling intermittent claudication. This article reviews indications, follow-up protocols, and procedure-related outcomes including perioperative and late mortality, complications, and long-term patency rates, which vary with patient risk factors, vascular disease severity, and hospital volume. Population-based studies have yet to establish whether rates of limb-preserving bypass surgery are related to overall amputation rates, partly because of the continued high rate of primary amputation. The functional benefits of vascular surgery have been traditionally assessed by treadmill protocols and batteries of physical tests. Claudication treatment is increasingly being measured by both generic and disease-specific functional and health-related quality-of-life questionnaires. Patient self-reported measures of physical functioning and walking ability are reviewed. Finally, conclusions are presented about trends in lower-extremity bypass surgery rates.
    Annual Review of Medicine 02/2000; 51:101-13. · 14.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was the prospective comparison of functional outcomes after lower extremity bypass grafting surgery, angioplasty, or medical management of intermittent claudication. The study was designed as a prospective cohort study to compare functional outcomes for patients with interventional management to medical management, including a matched (younger, with more disability) subgroup, followed for a mean of 19 months. Sixteen Chicago-area vascular surgery clinics participated in the study. The subjects were consecutively enrolled patients with an abnormal ankle-brachial blood pressure index (ABI), without signs of rest pain, ulcer, or gangrene, and without prior lower extremity revascularization procedures. The main outcome measures were changes in physical functioning, community walking distance, bodily pain, leg symptoms, and ABI. Of the 526 study patients, 20% underwent revascularization procedures (60 surgical bypass grafting and 44 angioplasty only). The mean ABI improved significantly for the patients who underwent bypass grafting surgery (0.20; P <.001) and modestly for the patients who underwent angioplasty (0.09; P <. 05). Patients undergoing bypass grafting and angioplasty maintained highly significant (P <.001) improvements in mean physical functioning, (17%, 14%), bodily pain (18%, 13%), and walking distance (28%, 27%) scores and reported greater leg symptom improvement. The results were far superior for the patients with greater improvement in ABI. The conditions of the 277 unmatched patients who underwent medical management declined on all outcome measures, and the conditions of the 145 matched patients who underwent medical management improved 5% (P <.001) on walking distance score. Eighteen percent of the study patients failed to complete the full study follow-up period. Most of the functional improvement achieved by patients who underwent interventional management appears to be related to improved patency rather than to selection bias or placebo effects. The functional gains were approximately half those often reported for patients for hip arthroplasty and similar to patients who undergo elective coronary angioplasty.
    Journal of Vascular Surgery 02/2000; 31(1 Pt 1):93-103. · 2.88 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Vascular Surgery - J VASC SURG. 01/2000; 32(6):1239-1250.
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    ABSTRACT: The presentation of long-term complications after conventional aortic surgery and the treatment of patients that have had reoperative aortic operations are reviewed. Ninety-seven consecutive patients that had 102 subsequent aortic operations at a tertiary referral center were studied. Presenting symptoms, demographics, risk factors, indications for initial and second procedures, operative techniques and outcomes were recorded in a computerized database. There were 70 men and 27 women studied, with an average age of 64 years. First operations were performed primarily for aneurysm (56%) and occlusive disease (44%). The interval between procedures ranged up to 23 years, with a mean of 6 years. Indications for reoperation were subsequent aneurysm (65), graft occlusions (25) and/or infections (24). Seventy-three percent of the subsequent aneurysms were true metachronous aneurysms; the others were associated with the graft or an anastomosis. Para-anastomotic aneurysms may be more common with a primary end-to-side graft configuration. One-third of subsequent aneurysms were not palpable and asymptomatic. Graft occlusion can be treated safely with elective repeat bypass (mortality 0%). Graft infections that require total graft removal remain a challenging problem (mortality 17%). Although surgical approach for reoperations utilized more extensive exposure and proximal clamping, 59 elective aneurysm cases had a 5.1% mortality rate; eight emergent procedures for ruptured aneurysms resulted in 88% mortality. Reoperation for graft occlusion or infection showed a similar high mortality rate with emergent cases. In this referral practice, graft occlusion and infection are relatively less frequent, whereas metachronous aneurysm formation is now the most common indication for reoperation. These aneurysms often remain undetected until symptoms occur; frank rupture is usually lethal. As elective repair with modern reoperative techniques can be safely performed, routine computed tomographic examination is advisable at least every 5 years after aortic operations.
    Cardiovascular Surgery 11/1999; 7(6):614-21.

Publication Stats

2k Citations
284.75 Total Impact Points


  • 2007–2012
    • Rush University Medical Center
      • Department of Cardiovascular-Thoracic Surgery
      Chicago, IL, United States
  • 2008
    • Rush Medical College
      Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • 1988–2000
    • Northwestern University
      • • Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics
      • • Department of Surgery
      Evanston, IL, United States
  • 1987–1994
    • Northwestern Memorial Hospital
      Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • 1993
    • Case Western Reserve University
      • Department of Surgery (University Hospitals Case Medical Center)
      Cleveland, OH, United States