Significance of endoleaks after endovascular repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms: The EUROSTAR experience

Corine van Marrewijk, Jacob Buth, Peter L Harris, Lars Norgren, André Nevelsteen, Michael G Wyatt
Journal of Vascular Surgery 2002, 35 (3): 461-73

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to assess the incidence, risk factors, and consequences of endoleaks after endovascular repair of abdominal aortic aneurysm.

METHODS: Data on 2463 patients were collected from 87 European centers and recorded in a central database. Preoperative data were compared for patients with collateral retrograde perfusion (type II) endoleak (group A), patients with device-related (type I and III) endoleaks (group B), and patients in whom no endoleak was detected (group C). Only endoleaks observed after the first postoperative month of follow-up were taken into consideration. Regression analysis was performed to investigate statistical relationships between the occurrence and type of endoleak and preoperative patient and morphologic characteristics, operative details, type of device, and experience of the operating team. In addition, postoperative changes in aneurysmal morphology, the need for secondary interventions, conversions to open repair, aneurysmal rupture, and mortality during follow-up were compared between these study groups.

RESULTS: Patients in group A had a higher prevalence of a patent inferior mesenteric artery compared with patients without endoleak. Patients in group B were treated more frequently than patients in group C by an operating team with experience of less than 30 procedures. The mean follow-up period was 15.4 months. Secondary interventions were needed in 13% of the patients. Rupture of the aneurysm during follow-up occurred in 0.52% (1/191) in group A, 3.37% (10/297) in group B, and 0.25% (5/1975) in group C. Life table analysis comparing the three study groups demonstrated a significantly higher rate of rupture in group B than in group C (P =.002). The incidence of conversion to open repair during follow-up was higher in group B than in the other two study groups (P <.01). Death was related to the aneurysm or to endovascular repair of the aneurysm in 7% of patients. Secondary outcome success, defined as absence of rupture and conversion, was significantly higher in group A and C compared with that in group B (P =.006 and P =.0001, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS: The presence of device-related endoleaks correlated with a higher risk of aneurysmal rupture and conversion compared with patients without type I or III endoleaks. Type II endoleak was not associated more often with these events. Consequently, intervention in type II endoleak should only be performed in case of increase of aneurysm size.

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