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J Vasc Surg. 2018 Mar;67(3):735-739. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2017.07.123. Epub 2017 Sep 28.

A registry-based rationale for discrete intervention thresholds for open and endovascular elective abdominal aortic aneurysm repair in female patients.

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Department of Vascular Surgery, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.
Department of Vascular Surgery, Onze Lieve Vrouwe Gasthuis, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Department of Vascular Surgery, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands. Electronic address:



An evidence-based consensus for a female-specific intervention threshold for abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) is missing. This study aims to analyze sex-related differences in the epidemiology of ruptured AAA to establish an intervention threshold for women.


The Dutch Surgical Aneurysm Audit (DSAA) is a compulsory, nation-wide registry of AAA repairs in The Netherlands. All patients with emergency or elective AAA repair between January 1, 2013, and December 31, 2015, were included in the analysis. The main outcomes were age, sex, AAA diameter at time of rupture, and 30-day postoperative mortality.


A total of 1561 ruptured AAA repairs (14.7% women) and 7063 cases of elective AAA repair (13.7% women) were included in the analysis. Women had significantly smaller mean ± standard deviation AAA diameter at time of rupture than men; 70.5 ± 14.4 mm and 78.6 ± 17.5 mm, respectively. In male patients, 8% of ruptures occurred at diameters below the 55 mm intervention threshold. The female equivalent of this eighth percentile is 52 mm. Female patients had significantly higher 30-day mortality after emergency repair, namely, 33% for women versus 24.2% for men, but were also significantly older, mean ± standard deviation age 76.7 ± 7.1 years and 73.9 ± 8.3 years for women and men, respectively. Correcting for age reduced the 30-day mortality risk for women after ruptured AAA repair from 1.53 (95% confidence interval, 1.14-2.04) to 1.27 (95% confidence interval, 0.92-1.73). Outcome after open elective repair was significantly worse for women compared with men, with a 30-day mortality of 7.97% 30 for women and 4.27% for men (P < .01).


The equivalent of the 55-mm intervention threshold for elective endovascular AAA repair in men is 52 mm in women. The almost doubled mortality risk for elective open repair in women implies that the optimal point for open repair is at higher diameters, very possibly at least 55 mm.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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