JOURNAL ARTICLE
MULTICENTER STUDY

Endovascular aneurysm repair at 5 years: Does aneurysm diameter predict outcome?

Christopher K Zarins, Tami Crabtree, Daniel A Bloch, Frank R Arko, Kenneth Ouriel, Rodney A White
Journal of Vascular Surgery 2006, 44 (5): 920-29; discussion 929-31
17098519

OBJECTIVE: The appropriate size threshold for endovascular repair of small abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) is unclear. We studied the outcome of endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) as a function of preoperative aneurysm diameter to determine the relationship between aneurysm size and long-term outcome of endovascular repair.

METHODS: We reviewed the results of 923 patients treated in a prospective, multicenter clinical trial of EVAR. Small aneurysms were defined according to two size thresholds of 5.5 cm and 5.0 cm. Two-way analysis was used to compare patients with small aneurysms (<5.5 cm, n = 441) to patients with large aneurysms (> or =5.5 cm, n = 482). An ordered three-way analysis was used to compare patients with small AAA (<5.0 cm, n = 145), medium AAA (5.0 to 5.9 cm, n = 461), and large AAA (> or =6.0 cm, n = 317). The primary outcome measures of rupture, AAA-related death, surgical conversion, secondary intervention, and survival were compared using Kaplan-Meier estimates at 5 years.

RESULTS: Median aneurysm size was 5.5 cm. The two-way comparison showed that 5 years after EVAR, patients with small aneurysms (<5.5 cm) had a lower AAA-related death rate (1% vs 6%, P = .006), a higher survival rate (69% vs 57%, P = .0002), and a lower secondary intervention rate (25% vs 32%, P = .03) than patients with large aneurysms (> or =5.5 cm). Three-way analysis revealed that patients with small AAAs (<5.0 cm) were younger (P < .0001) and were more likely to have a family history of aneurysm (P < .05), prior coronary intervention (P = .003), and peripheral occlusive disease (P = .008) than patients with larger AAAs. Patients with smaller AAAs also had more favorable aortic neck anatomy (P < .004). Patients with large AAAs were older (P < .0001), had higher operative risk (P = .01), and were more likely to have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (P = .005), obesity (P = .03), and congestive heart failure (P = .004). At 5 years, patients with small AAAs had better outcomes, with 100% freedom from rupture vs 97% for medium AAAs and 93% for large AAAs (P = .02), 99% freedom from AAA-related death vs 97% for medium AAAs and 92% for large AAAs (P = .02) and 98% freedom from conversion vs 92% for medium AAAs and 89% for large AAAs (P = .01). Survival was significantly improved in small (69%) and medium AAAs (68%) compared to large AAAs (51%, P < .0001). Multivariate Cox proportional hazards modeling revealed that aneurysm size was a significant independent predictor of rupture (P = .04; hazard ratio [HR], 2.195), AAA-related death (P = .03; HR, 2.007), surgical conversion (P = .007; HR, 1.827), and survival (P = .001; HR, 1.351). There were no significant differences in secondary intervention, endoleak, or migration rates between small, medium, and large AAAs.

CONCLUSIONS: Preoperative aneurysm size is an important determinant of long-term outcome following endovascular repair. Patients with small AAAs (<5.0 cm) are more favorable candidates for EVAR and have the best long-term outcomes, with 99% freedom from AAA death at 5 years. Patients with large AAAs (> or =6.0 cm) have shorter life expectancy and have a higher risk of rupture, surgical conversion, and aneurysm-related death following EVAR compared to patients with smaller aneurysms. Nonetheless, 92% of patients with large AAAs are protected from AAA-related death at 5 years. Patients with AAAs of intermediate size (5 to 6 cm) represent most of the patients treated with EVAR and have a 97% freedom from AAA-related death at 5 years.

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