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Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg. 2004 Sep;28(3):229-33.

Quality of life after repair of ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm.

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Edinburgh Vascular Surgical Service, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Lothian EH16 4SA, UK.



Ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) continues to be associated with high operative mortality. Though survivors can expect to return to a normal life expectancy, their postoperative health related quality of life (HRQoL) remains uncertain. This review examines HRQoL following operative repair of ruptured AAA.


PreMedline, Medline and Embase databases were searched for clinical studies relating to quality of life following repair of ruptured AAA. Reference lists of relevant papers were also reviewed.


Fourteen retrospective-observational studies of postoperative quality of life following repair of ruptured AAA were identified. Both validated and non-validated tools for generic HRQoL assessment were used. All but one study showed no significant difference in overall HRQoL following ruptured AAA repair when compared to both the normal age-adjusted population and patients undergoing elective repair of intact AAA. However, survivors of ruptured AAA did exhibit significant reductions in the isolated domains of physical function, social behaviour and general well-being.


There are few studies of HRQoL following repair of ruptured AAA. These reports are retrospective, have small sample sizes and use generic instruments for HRQoL assessment. The findings suggest that survivors of ruptured AAA may attain a similar functional outcome to patients undergoing elective AAA repair and the age-matched healthy population. However, these results must be interpreted with caution and further prospective study is required.

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