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J Vasc Surg. 1998 Jul;28(1):1-11; discussion 11-3.

Contemporary management of isolated iliac aneurysms.

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The Section of Vascular Surgery, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and The Denver Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 80262, USA.



Because isolated common iliac artery aneurysms are infrequent, are difficult to detect and treat, and have traditionally been associated with high operative mortality rates in reported series, we analyzed the outcomes of operative repair of 31 isolated common iliac artery aneurysms in 21 patients to ascertain morbidity and mortality rates with contemporary techniques of repair.


A retrospective review study was conducted in a university teaching hospital and a Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Perioperative mortality and operative morbidity rates were examined in 17 men and four women with isolated common iliac artery aneurysms between 1984 and 1997. Ages ranged from 38 to 87 years (mean 69 +/- 8 years). Slightly more than half of the cases were symptomatic, with abdominal pain, neurologic, claudicative, genitourinary, or hemodynamic symptoms. One aneurysm had ruptured and one was infected. There was one iliac artery-iliac vein fistula. All aneurysms involved the common iliac artery. Coexistent unilateral or bilateral external iliac aneurysms were present in four patients; there were three accompanying internal iliac aneurysms. Overall, 52% of patients had unilateral aneurysms and 48% had bilateral aneurysms. Aneurysms ranged in maximal diameter from 2.5 to 12 cm (mean 5.6 +/- 2 cm). No patients were unavailable for follow-up, which averaged 5.5 years.


Nineteen patients underwent direct operative repair of isolated iliac aneurysms. One patient had placement of an endoluminal covered stent graft; another patient at high risk had percutaneous placement of coils within the aneurysm to occlude it in conjunction with a femorofemoral bypass graft. Patients with bilateral aneurysms underwent aortoiliac or aortofemoral interposition grafts, whereas unilateral aneurysms were managed with local interposition grafts. There were no deaths in the perioperative period. Only one elective operation (5%) resulted in a significant complication, compartment syndrome requiring fasciotomy. The patient treated with the covered stent required femorofemoral bypass when the stent occluded 1 week after the operation. The patient treated with coil occlusion of a large common iliac aneurysm died 2 years later when the aneurysm ruptured.


Isolated iliac artery aneurysms can be managed with much lower mortality and morbidity rates than aneurysm previously been reported by using a systematic operative approach. Percutaneous techniques may be less durable and effective than direct surgical repair.

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