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J Vasc Surg. 2015 Apr;61(4):862-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2014.11.081. Epub 2015 Feb 19.

Outcomes of endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm repair in high-risk patients.

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Department of Surgery, Division of Vascular Surgery and Endovascular Therapy, Loyola University Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine, Maywood, Ill.
Department of Surgery, Division of Vascular Surgery and Endovascular Therapy, Loyola University Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine, Maywood, Ill. Electronic address:
Department of Applied Statistics, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea.



Although the endovascular aneurysm repair trial 2 (EVAR-2) demonstrated no benefit of EVAR in high-risk (HR) patients, EVAR is still performed widely in this patient cohort. This study compares the midterm outcomes after EVAR in HR patients with those in normal-risk (NR) patients. In turn, these data are compared with the EVAR-2 data.


A retrospective review from January 2006 to December 2013 identified 247 patients (75 HR [30.4%], 172 NR [69.6%]) who underwent elective EVAR for infrarenal aortic aneurysm in an academic tertiary institution and its affiliated Veterans Administration hospital. The same HR criteria used in the EVAR-2 trial were employed. Overall survival, graft-related complications, and reintervention rates were estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method. HR group outcomes were compared with the EVAR-2 data.


HR patients had a larger abdominal aortic aneurysm size and had a higher prevalence of cardiac disease (P < .01), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (P = .02), renal insufficiency (P < .01), and cancer (P < .01). Use of aspirin (63% HR vs 66% NR; P = .6), statin (83% HR vs 72% NR; P = .2), and beta-blockers (71% HR vs 60% NR; P = .2) was similar; in the EVAR-2 trial, the corresponding use of these medications was 58%, 42%, and not available, respectively. Perioperative mortality (0% HR vs 1.2% NR; P = 1.0) and early complication rates (4% HR vs 6% NR; P = .8) were similar. In contrast, perioperative mortality in the EVAR-2 trial was 9%. At a mean follow-up of 3 years, the incidence rates of delayed secondary interventions for aneurysm- or graft-related complications were 7% for HR patients and 10% for NR patients (P = .5). The 1-, 2-, and 4-year survival rates in HR patients (85%, 77%, 65%) were lower than those in NR patients (97%, 97%, 93%; P < .001), but this was more favorable compared with a 36% 4-year survival in the EVAR-2 trial. No difference was seen in long-term reintervention-free survival in HR and NR patients (P = .8). Backward stepwise logistic regression analysis identified five prognostic indicators for post-EVAR death: age, chronic kidney disease stages 4 and 5, congestive heart failure, home oxygen use, and current cancer therapy.


EVAR can be performed in patients unfit for open surgical repair with excellent early survival and long-term durability. These outcomes in the HR group compare more favorably to the EVAR-2 trial data. However, not all HR patients for open surgical repair derive the benefit from EVAR. The decision to proceed with EVAR in HR patients should be individualized, depending on the number and severity of risk factors.

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