Author(s): Hertzer NR
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The purpose of this study was to determine the safety and durability of traditional surgical treatment for asymptomatic infrarenal abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) in a large series of patients who underwent open operations during the decade preceding the commercial availability of stent graft devices for endovascular AAA repair.
From 1989 to 1998, 1135 consecutive patients (985 men [87%], 150 women; mean age, 70 +/- 7 years) underwent elective graft replacement of infrarenal AAA. Computerized perioperative data have been supplemented with a retrospective review of hospital charts/outpatient records and a telephone canvass to calculate survival rates and the incidence rate of subsequent graft-related complications. Seventy-four patients (6.5%) were lost during a median follow-up period of 57 months for the entire series.
The 30-day mortality rate was 1.2%. The hospital course was completely uneventful for 939 patients (83%), and the median length of stay for all patients was 8 days. A total of 196 patients had single (n = 150; 13%) or multiple (n = 46; 4%) postoperative complications, which were more likely to occur in men (odds ratio [OR], 2.3; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1 to 5.2) and in patients with a history of congestive heart failure (OR, 3.7; 95% CI, 1.7 to 7.8), chronic pulmonary disease (OR, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.2 to 2.9), or renal insufficiency (OR, 2.5; 95% CI, 1.3 to 4.7). Kaplan-Meier method survival rate estimates were 75% at 5 years and 49% at 10 years. As was the case with early complications, the long-term mortality rate primarily was influenced by age of more than 75 years (risk ratio [RR], 2.2; 95% CI, 1.7 to 2.8) or previous history of congestive heart failure (RR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.3 to 3.4), chronic pulmonary disease (RR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.2 to 2.0), or renal insufficiency (RR, 3.2; 95% CI, 2.2 to 4.6). Of the 1047 patients who survived their operations and remained available for follow-up study, only four (0.4%) have had late complications that were related to their aortic replacement grafts.
These results reconfirm the exemplary success of open infrarenal AAA repair. The future of endovascular AAA repair is exceedingly bright, but until the long-term outcome of the current generation of stent grafts is adequately documented, their use should be justified by the presence of serious surgical risk factors.
This article was published in J Vasc Surg
and referenced in Angiology: Open Access