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Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg. 2009 Apr;37(4):425-30. doi: 10.1016/j.ejvs.2008.12.019. Epub 2009 Feb 23.

Is there a benefit of frequent CT follow-up after EVAR?

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Vascular Center Malmö-Lund, Malmö University Hospital, 205 02 Malmö, Sweden.



Imaging follow-up (FU) after endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) is usually performed by periodic contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) scans. This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of CT-FU after EVAR.


In this study, 279 of 304 consecutive patients (261 male, aged 74 years (interquartile range (IQR): 70-79 years) with a median abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) diameter of 58 mm (IQR: 53-67 mm)) underwent at least one of the yearly CT scans and plain abdominal films after EVAR. All patients received Zenith stent-grafts for non-ruptured AAAs at a single institution. Patients were considered asymptomatic when a re-intervention was done solely due to an imaging FU finding. The data were prospectively entered in a computer database and retrospectively analysed.


As a follow-up, 1167 CT scans were performed at a median of 54 months (IQR: 34-74 months) after EVAR. Twenty-seven patients exhibited postoperative AAA expansion (a 5-year expansion-free rate of 88+/-2%), and 57 patients underwent 78 postoperative re-interventions with a 5-year secondary success rate of 91+/-2%. Of the 279 patients, 26 (9.3%) undergoing imaging FU benefitted from the yearly CT scans, since they had re-interventions based on asymptomatic imaging findings: AAA diameter expansion with or without endoleaks (n=18), kink in the stent-graft limbs (n=4), endoleak type III due to stent-graft limb separation without simultaneous AAA expansion (n=2), isolated common iliac artery expansion (n=1) and superior mesenteric artery malperfusion due to partial coverage by the stent-graft fabric (n=1).


Less than 10% of the patients benefit from the yearly CT-FU after EVAR. Only one re-intervention due to partial coverage of a branch by the stent-graft would have been delayed if routine FU had been based on simple diameter measurements and plain abdominal radiograph. This suggests that less-frequent CT is sufficient in the majority of patients, which may simplify the FU protocol, reduce radiation exposure and the total costs of EVAR. Contrast-enhanced CT scans continue, nevertheless, to be critical when re-interventions are planned.

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