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J Vasc Surg. 2001 Jul;34(1):98-105.

Endoleak after endovascular repair of abdominal aortic aneurysm.

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Division of Vascular Surgery and Interventional Radiology, University of California-San Francisco, USA.



We sought to assess the role of endovascular techniques in the management of perigraft flow (endoleak) after endovascular repair of an abdominal aortic aneurysm.


We performed endovascular repair of abdominal aortic aneurysm in 114 patients, using a variety of Gianturco Z-stent-based prostheses. Results were evaluated with contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) at 3 days, 3 months, 6 months, 12 months, and every year after the operation. An endoleak that occurred 3 days after operation led to repeat CT scanning at 2 weeks, followed by angiography and attempted endovascular treatment.


Endoleak was seen on the first postoperative CT scan in 21 (18%) patients and was still present at 2 weeks in 14 (12%). On the basis of angiographic localization of the inflow, the endoleak was pure type I in 3 cases, pure type II in 9, and mixed-pattern in 2. Of the 5 type I endoleaks, 3 were proximal and 2 were distal. All five resolved after endovascular implantation of additional stent-grafts, stents, and embolization coils. Although inferior mesenteric artery embolization was successful in 6 of 7 cases and lumbar embolization was successful in 4 of 7, only 1 of 11 primary type II endoleaks was shown to be resolved on CT scanning. There were no type III or type IV endoleaks (through the stent-graft). Endoleak was associated with aneurysm dilation two cases. In both cases, the aneurysm diameter stabilized after coil embolization of the inferior mesenteric artery. There were two secondary (delayed) endoleaks; one type I and one type II. The secondary type I endoleak and the associated aneurysm rupture were treated by use of an additional stent-graft. The secondary type II endoleak was not treated.


Type I endoleaks represent a persistent risk of aneurysm rupture and should be treated promptly by endovascular means. Type II leaks are less dangerous and more difficult to treat, but coil embolization of feeding arteries may be warranted when leakage is associated with aneurysm enlargement.

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