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Ann Vasc Surg. 2009 Jan-Feb;23(1):49-59. doi: 10.1016/j.avsg.2008.08.006. Epub 2008 Oct 29.

Compliance of abdominal aortic aneurysms before and after stenting with tissue doppler imaging: evolution during follow-up and correlation with aneurysm diameter.

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Vascular Medicine, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Reims, Reims, France.


Usual imaging after endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) consists of AAA diameter monitoring and endoleak detection. Among additional predictor parameters previously proposed to help clinicians in better identifying subgroups of AAA still at risk of rupture, AAA wall motion after EVAR has been studied, but its value was not clearly established. Tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) is an ultrasonographic modality which allows wall motion measurements along an arterial segment. The aim of the current study was to analyze AAA wall motion with TDI before and after EVAR and to describe its evolution in patients with more than 1 month of follow-up. Twenty-five consecutive patients undergoing EVAR between February 2005 and June 2007 gave informed consent to be prospectively investigated with the TDI system before EVAR and at each visit during follow-up. The mean (SD) follow-up was 13.7 (9.7) months. Maximum mean segmental dilation (MMSD), segmental compliance, dilation at maximum diameter, pressure strain elastic modulus (Ep), and stiffness were compared between three periods (before stenting, before discharge, and at last follow-up), and their relation with AAA diameter was analyzed. A significant decrease in AAA compliance was immediately observed after successful EVAR and remained stable during later follow-up. On the other hand, AAA diameter progressively decreased along time and was statistically lower at the last control compared to the initial value. MMSD, segmental compliance, and dilation at maximum diameter were positively related to AAA diameter. This means that the larger the AAA diameter after stenting, the higher the value for these parameters can be expected. On the contrary, percentage of AAA diameter decrease and percentage of MMSD decrease were not related after successful EVAR. There was no parallelism between loss in compliance and diameter decrease along time, and there is not a unique pattern of AAA diameter and compliance evolution after EVAR. Even if comparison between patients without and with endoleak was weak due to the small sample of the latter group (five patients with endoleak), compliance tended to be greater in case of endoleak. AAA wall motion after successful EVAR reflects complex interactions between all the components of the stented aneurysm which evolve over time, including true compliance of the aneurysm wall itself; intra-aneurysm sac pressure with possible different effects for peak, mean, and pulse pressures; remodeling of the thrombus; stiffness characteristics of the graft; and systemic pressure. Combining simultaneous MMSD records with actual intrasaccular pressure measurements in patients with and without endoleak would improve our understanding of the clinical pulsatility mechanism within AAA after EVAR.

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