Age-related trends in utilization and outcome of open and endovascular repair for abdominal aortic aneurysm in the United States, 2001-2006

Margaret L Schwarze, Yang Shen, Joshua Hemmerich, William Dale
Journal of Vascular Surgery 2009, 50 (4): 722-729.e2

OBJECTIVE: This study used a large national administrative in-hospital database to compare utilization and age-specific outcomes between open repair (OAR) and endovascular (EVAR) repair for the treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA).

METHODS: Discharges with the principal International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) procedure codes for EVAR and OAR and principal diagnosis code of intact AAAs were selected from the 2001 to 2006 Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS). Weighted least-square regression was used to test the trend of utilization by age. Multiple linear and logistic regression analyses were used to assess the risk-adjusted outcomes.

RESULTS: Nationally, the estimated number of elective AAAs treated with EVAR increased from 11,171 in 2001 to 21,725 in 2006 (P = .003). The number of elective AAAs treated with OAR declined from 17,784 to 8451 during the same period (P < .001). By 2006, EVAR was more frequently used than OAR for patients of all ages. Compared with the younger age groups, patients aged >or=85 years had a significant increase in the total number of asymptomatic AAA repairs, driven almost entirely by an increase in the use of EVAR. Compared with open patients, EVAR patients had a significantly shorter length of hospitalization (adjusted mean, 2.99 days [95% confidence interval (CI), 2.97-3.01] vs 8.78 days [95% CI, 8.53-8.57]), less in-hospital mortality (odds ratio [OR], 0.23; 95% CI, 0.19-0.28), fewer in-hospital complications (OR, 0.27; 95% CI, 0.25-0.28), and a higher likelihood of being discharged to home (OR, 3.95; 95% CI, 3.62-4.31). The reduction of complications from the use of EVAR versus OAR was most dramatic for the oldest patients.

CONCLUSIONS: As short-term surgical outcomes are consistently improving for patients undergoing AAA repair, elective EVAR has replaced OAR as the more common method of repair in the United States. The introduction of this technology has been rapidly adopted, particularly for the oldest-old surgical patients, aged >or=85 years, who previously may not have been offered surgical intervention for asymptomatic AAA. Further investigation is necessary to examine whether this trend improves the long-term survival and quality of life for this elderly population.

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