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J Vasc Surg. 1995 May;21(5):830-7; discussion 837-8.

Ten-year experience with abdominal aortic aneurysm repair in octogenarians: early results and late outcome.

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Department of Vascular Surgery, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, OH 44195, USA.



This study was undertaken to determine the mortality and morbidity rates associated with abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair in octogenarians and to identify factors that may influence survival in this age group.


One hundred fourteen patients (mean age 83 years) were admitted consecutively with 106 infrarenal and eight juxtarenal AAAs from 1984 through 1993. Ninety-four AAAs were asymptomatic, whereas 20 patients with symptoms had 11 intact and nine ruptured AAAs. The mean AAA diameter was 6.7 cm. Repair consisted of aortic bifurcation grafts in 77 patients (67%), tube grafts in 35 (31%), and extraanatomic procedures in 2 (2%). A total of 29 patients (25%) had undergone previous coronary artery bypass (24 patients) or transluminal coronary angioplasty (five patients) either incidentally or as a preliminary procedure before resection of their AAAs.


The 30-day mortality rate for the entire series was 14%, but it declined from 23% (11/48) during the first 5 years to 8% (5/66) during the second 5 years of the study period (p = 0.028). Fatal complications occurred in nine (9.6%) of the 94 patients with asymptomatic AAAs and in seven (35%) of the 20 patients who had symptomatic AAAs (p = 0.008). Considering only patients with asymptomatic AAAs, the early mortality rate in the second 5 years (4%) improved significantly (p = 0.038) in comparison to that (17%) for the first 5 years of the study period. The cumulative 5-year survival rate of 48% for 97 available operative survivors was not quite so good as that (59%) for the normal male population of the United States at the age of 80 years (p < 0.0001). Nevertheless, the 5-year survival rate was 80% for 27 operative survivors who received previous myocardial revascularization compared with 38% for 70 others who did not (p = 0.0077). Multiple Cox-regression analysis identified the perioperative homologous blood requirement (p = 0.03) and a history of previous myocardial revascularization (p = 0.03) as significant independent factors influencing late survival.


Repair of AAAs in properly selected octogenarians is safe and durable. When otherwise indicated, it should not be withheld on the basis of advanced age alone. Prior treatment of severe coronary artery disease is associated with enhanced late survival, but patient selection probably is an important consideration in this respect.

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