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J Vasc Surg. 2003 Jul;38(1):88-92.

Comparison of morphologic features of intact and ruptured aneurysms of infrarenal abdominal aorta.

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Department of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, University Hospital, Nottingham, England, UK.



Endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) has been suggested as a technique to improve outcome of ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). Whether this technique becomes an established treatment will depend, in part, on the anatomy of ruptured AAA.


The anatomy of intact and ruptured AAA seen in a university department of vascular surgery over 5 years was reviewed. Aneurysm anatomy was assessed with spiral computed tomographic angiography. Suitability for EVAR was assessed from the dimensions of the proximal neck and common iliac arteries. Neck length less than 15 mm, neck width greater than 30 mm, and common iliac artery diameter greater than 22 mm were declared unsuitable for EVAR.


Three hundred sixty-three patients with intact AAA and 46 with ruptured AAA were identified. Larger intact aneurysms were significantly associated with longer renal artery-bifurcation distance and more complex proximal neck architecture. In this sample, patients with ruptured AAA were more likely to have larger aneurysms with shorter and narrower proximal necks. Significantly more intact aneurysms were morphologically suitable for endovascular repair compared with ruptured AAA (78% vs 43%; P <.001).


Ruptured AAA are less likely to be suitable for endovascular repair than are intact AAA, most probably because of larger diameter at presentation. Open repair will likely remain the treatment of choice in most patients with ruptured AAA, because of current morphologic constraints of endovascular repair.

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