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J Vasc Surg. 2000 Jul;32(1):90-107.

Endoleak as a predictor of outcome after endovascular aneurysm repair: AneuRx multicenter clinical trial.

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Stanford University, Division of Vascular Surgery, Stanford, CA 94305-5450, USA.



The purpose of this study was to determine whether evidence of blood flow in the aneurysm sac (endoleak) is a meaningful predictor of clinical outcome after successful endovascular aneurysm repair.


We reviewed all patients in Phase II of the AneuRx Multicenter Clinical Trial with successful stent graft implantation and predischarge contrast computed tomographic (CT) imaging. The clinical outcome of patients with evidence of endoleak was compared with the outcome of patients without evidence of endoleak. The CT endoleak status before hospital discharge at 6, 12, and 24 months was determined by each clinical center as well as by an independent core laboratory. Endoleak status at 1 month was assessed with duplex scanning examination or CT at each center without confirmation by the core laboratory.


Centers reported endoleaks in 152 (38%) of 398 patients on predischarge CT, whereas the core laboratory reported endoleaks in 50% of these patients (P <.001). The center-reported endoleak rate decreased to 13% at 1 month. Follow-up extended to 2 years (mean, 10 +/- 4 months). One patient had aneurysm rupture and underwent successful open repair at 14 months. This patient had a Type I endoleak at discharge but no endoleak at 1 month or at subsequent follow-up times. There were no differences between patients with and patients without endoleak at discharge in the following outcome measures: patient survival, aneurysm rupture, surgical conversion, the need for an additional procedure for endoleak or graft patency, aneurysm enlargement more than 5 mm, the appearance of a new endoleak, or stent graft migration. Despite a higher endoleak rate identified by the core laboratory, neither the endoleak rate reported by the core laboratory nor the endoleak rate reported by the center at discharge was significantly related to subsequent outcome measures. Patients with endoleak at 1 month were more likely to undergo an additional procedure for endoleak than patients without endoleaks. Patients with Type I endoleaks at discharge and patients with endoleak at 1 month were more likely to experience aneurysm enlargement at 1 year. However, there was no difference in patient survival, aneurysm rupture rate, or primary or secondary success rate between patients with or without endoleak. Actuarial survival of all patients undergoing endovascular aneurysm repair was 96% at 1 year and was independent of endoleak status. Primary outcome success was 92% at 12 months and 88% at 18 months. Secondary outcome success was 96% at 12 months and 94% at 18 months.


The presence or absence of endoleak on CT scan before hospital discharge does not appear to predict patient survival or aneurysm rupture rate after endovascular aneurysm repair using the AneuRx stent graft. Although the identification of blood flow in the aneurysm sac after endovascular repair is a meaningful finding and may at times indicate inadequate stent graft fixation, the usefulness of endoleak as a primary indicator of procedural success or failure is unclear. Therefore, all patients who have undergone endovascular aneurysm repair should be carefully followed up regardless of endoleak status.

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