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J Vasc Surg. 1998 May;27(5):813-9; discussion 819-20.

Long-term survival and late complications after repair of ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms.

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Division of Vascular Surgery, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minn 55905, USA.



Long-term survival and late vascular complications in patients who survived repair of ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms (RAAA) is not well known. The current study compared late outcome after repair of RAAA with those observed in patients who survived elective repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA).


The records of 116 patients, 102 men and 14 women (mean age: 72.5 (8.3 years), who survived repair of RAAA (group I) between 1980 to 1989 were reviewed. Late vascular complications and survival were compared with an equal number of survivors of elective AAA repair matched for sex, age, surgeon, and date of operation (group II). Survival was also compared with the age and sex-matched white population of west-north central United States.


Late vascular complications occurred in 17% (20/116) of patients in group I and in 8% (9/116) in group II. Paraanastomotic aneurysms occurred more frequently in group I than in group II (17 vs. 8, p = 0.004). At follow-up, 32 patients (28%) were alive in group I (median survival: 9.4 years) and 53 patients (46%) were alive in group II (median survival: 8.7 years). Cumulative survival rates after successful RAAA repair at 1, 5, and 10 years were 86%, 64%, and 33%, respectively. These were significantly lower than survival rates at the same intervals after elective repair (97%, 74%, and 43%, respectively, p = 0.02) or survival of the general population (95%, 75%, and 52%, respectively, p < 0.001). Coronary artery disease was the most frequent cause of late death in both groups. Vascular and graft-related complications caused death in 3% (3/116) in group I and 1% (1/116) in group II. Cox proportional hazards modeling identified age (p = 0.0001), cerebrovascular disease (p = 0.009), and number of days on mechanical ventilation (p = 0.01) to be independent prognostic determinants of late survival in group I.


Late vascular complications after repair of RAAA were higher and late survival rates lower than after elective repair. These data support elective repair of AAA. As two-thirds of the patients discharged after repair of RAAA are alive at 5 years, aggressive management of RAAA remains justified.

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