Author(s): Plate G
Between 1970 and 1976, 1,112 patients underwent abdominal aortic aneurysm repair. Follow-up, ranging from six to 12 years, was complete in 1,087 patients (97.7%). The most frequent cause of late deaths was coronary artery disease (45.6%), but significant morbidity related to the peripheral vascular system had developed in 94 patients, and led to 8.4% (48 patients) of all late deaths. Forty-nine true, 14 anastomotic, and five dissecting aneurysms were detected in 59 patients (5.4%) a mean (+/- SD) of 5.2 +/- 3.1 years after the initial aneurysm repair. These aneurysms were located in the thoracic (24), thoracoabdominal (five), or abdominal aorta (11), and in the iliac (six), femoral (17), popliteal (four), and renal arteries (one). Only one of 26 patients presenting with a rupture of one of these secondary aneurysms survived. There was a significant association between preoperative hypertension and recurrent aneurysm. These findings suggest that subsequent vascular disease, including recurrent aneurysms and graft complications, cause significant late morbidity and mortality after repair of abdominal aortic aneurysm. Careful follow-up and adequate control of hypertension may allow reduction in morbidity and an improvement in late survival.