Totally percutaneous versus standard femoral artery access for elective bifurcated abdominal endovascular aneurysm repair

Alexander Jackson, Su Ern Yeoh, Mike Clarke
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2014 February 27, (2): CD010185

BACKGROUND: Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) are a vascular condition with significant risk attached, particularly if they rupture. It is, therefore, critical to identify and repair these as an elective procedure before they rupture and require emergency surgery. Repair has traditionally been an open surgical technique that required a large incision across the abdomen. More recently endovascular aneurysm repairs (EVARs) have become a common alternative. In this procedure, the common femoral artery is exposed via a cut-down approach and a graft is introduced to the aneurysm in this way. This review examines a totally percutaneous approach to EVAR. This technique gives a minimally invasive approach to femoral artery access that may reduce groin wound complication rates and improve recovery time. The technique may, however, be less applicable in patients with, for example, groin scarring or arterial calcification.

OBJECTIVES: This review aims to compare the clinical outcomes of percutaneous access with standard femoral artery access in elective bifurcated abdominal endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR).

SEARCH METHODS: The Cochrane Peripheral Vascular Diseases Group Trials Search Co-ordinator searched their Specialised Register (last searched July 2013), CENTRAL (2013, Issue 6) and clinical trials databases. Reference lists of retrieved articles were checked.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Only randomised controlled trials were considered. The primary intervention was a totally percutaneous endovascular repair. All device types were considered. This was compared against standard femoral artery endovascular repair. Only studies investigating elective repairs were considered. Studies reporting emergency surgery for a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm (rAAA) and those reporting aorto-uni-iliac repairs were excluded.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: All data were collected independently by two review authors. Owing to the small number of trials identified, no formal assessment of heterogeneity or sensitivity analysis was conducted.

MAIN RESULTS: Only one trial met the inclusion criteria, involving a total of 30 participants, 15 undergoing the percutaneous technique and 15 treated by the standard femoral cut-down approach. There were no significant differences between the two groups at baseline.No mortality or failure of aneurysm exclusion was observed in either group. Three wound infections occurred in the standard femoral cut-down group, whereas none were observed in the percutaneous group. This was not statistically significant. Only one major complication was observed in the study, a conversion to the cut-down technique in the percutaneous access group. No long-term outcomes were reported. One episode of a bleeding complication was reported in the percutaneous group. Significant differences were detected in surgery time (percutaneous 86.7 ± 27 minutes versus conventional 107.8 ± 38.5 minutes; P < 0.05).The included study had a small sample size and failed to report adequately the method of randomisation, allocation concealment and the pre-selected outcomes.

AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Only one small study was identified, which did not provide adequate evidence to determine the efficacy and safety of the percutaneous approach compared with endovascular aneurysm repairs. This review has identified a clear need for further research into this potentially beneficial technique. One ongoing study was identified in the search, which may provide an improved evidence base in the future.

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