Outcomes after open surgery and endovascular aneurysm repair for abdominal aortic aneurysm in patients with massive neck atheroma

K Hoshina, A Hosaka, T Takayama, M Kato, N Ohkubo, H Okamoto, K Shigematsu, T Miyata
European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery 2012, 43 (3): 257-61

OBJECTIVE: We retrospectively analysed surgically treated abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) in patients with massive atheroma in the aneurysmal neck and compared the outcomes of endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) and open surgery (OS) to determine an appropriate strategy for massive neck atheroma cases.

METHODS: A retrospective study was performed in 326 consecutive patients who underwent EVAR and in 247 patients who underwent OS. We defined massive neck atheromas if the following characteristics were observed: (1) thickness ≥ 5 mm; (2) the circumference of the infrarenal aorta ≥ 75%; and (3) length ≥ 5 mm. Twenty-eight patients (8.5%) in the EVAR group and 22 (8.9%) in the OS group met these criteria. We modified the previously published reporting standards on the basis of the selection of systemic and embolisation-related complications.

RESULTS: Patients in the EVAR group had less intra-operative blood loss, shorter operation time, and shorter hospital stays after the operation (P < 0.01). No perioperative deaths were observed in either group. Major complications were categorised as early (in-hospital) or late (outpatient, within 6 months). Five and three patients in the OS and EVAR groups had early complications, but the difference was not statistically significant. In contrast, 7 patients in the EVAR group had late complications, compared to no patients in the OS group (P = 0.01). Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed a significantly higher survival rate in the OS group (P = 0.011). Two of the 4 patients with suprarenal clamping developed major complications. Mild eosinophilia was observed in 10 patients in the EVAR group. Proteinuria occurred or worsened in 5 EVAR patients and 1 OS patient.

CONCLUSION: Compared to OS patients, EVAR patients with massive neck atheroma tend to develop late-phase complications possibly related to cholesterol crystal embolisation. The clinical features of massive neck atheroma patients receiving EVAR should be carefully monitored even after hospital discharge.

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