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J Vasc Surg. 2006 Feb;43(2):217-22; discussion 223.

Thirty-day mortality statistics underestimate the risk of repair of thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms: a statewide experience.

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Center for Surgical Outcomes and Quality, UCLA School of Medicine, West Los Angeles Veterans' Administration Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA.



The purpose of this study was to determine the 30-day and 365-day mortality for the repair of thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms (TAA), when stratified by age, in the general population. These data provide clinicians with information more applicable to an individual patient than mortality figures from a single institutional series.


Data were obtained from the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) for the years 1991 to 2002. These data were linked to the state death certificate file, allowing for continued information on the status of the patients after hospital discharge. All patients undergoing elective and ruptured TAA repair as coded by International Classification of Diseases, 9th Clinical Modification (ICD-9, CM) in California were identified. Patients aged <50 or >90 years old were excluded. We determined 30- and 365-day mortality and stratified our findings by decade of patient age (eg, 50 to 59). Demographics of elective and ruptured cases were also compared.


We identified 1010 patients (797 elective, 213 ruptured) who underwent TAA repair. Mean patient ages were 70.0 (elective) and 72.1 years (ruptured). Men comprised 62% of elective and 68% of ruptured aneurysm patients, and 80% (elective) and 74% (ruptured) were white. Overall elective patient mortality was 19% at 30 days and 31% at 365 days. There was a steep increase in mortality with increasing age, such that elective 365-day mortality increased from about 18% for patients 50 to 59 years old to 40% for patients 80 to 89 years old. The elective case 31-day to 365-day mortality ranged from 7.8% for the youngest patients to 13.5%. Mortality for ruptured cases was 48.4% at 30 days and 61.5% at 365 days, and these rates also increased with age.


Our observed 30-day mortality for TAA repairs is consistent with previous reports; however, mortality at 1 year demonstrates a significant risk beyond the initial perioperative period, and this risk increases with age. These data reflect surgical mortality for TAA repair in the general population and may provide more useful data for surgeons and patients contemplating TAA surgery.

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