Objective: The purpose of this study is to review our experience with surgical repair of lower thoracoabdominal and suprarenal aortic aneurysms to determine early and late survival rates and identify factors influencing morbidity and survival among these patients.
Materials: From 1989 through 1998, 165 consecutive patients underwent repair of 108 thoracoabdominal (55 group III and 53 group IV) and 57 suprarenal aneurysms. The study group consisted of 109 men and 56 women with a mean age of 70 years (median, 70 years; range, 29-89 years). Mean aneurysm diameter was 6.9 cm (median, 6.5 cm; range, 4-12 cm). There were 125 aneurysms (76%) repaired electively; 40 repairs (24%) were nonelective. The cause of 12 aneurysms (7%) was chronic aortic dissection; the remaining 153 (93%) were degenerative aneurysms.
Results: The early postoperative (30-day) mortality rates were 7% (9/125) for elective and 23% (9/40) for nonelective operations (P =.016). For both elective and urgent procedures, early mortality was 1.8% (1/57) for suprarenal aneurysm repair, 11% (6/53) for group IV thoracoabdominal aneurysms, and 20% (11/55) for group III thoracoabdominal aneurysms (P =.013, suprarenal vs group III). Spinal cord ischemia occurred after 6% (10/165) of aneurysm repairs (4% paraplegia, 2% paraparesis). None of the 57 suprarenal aneurysm repairs were complicated by spinal cord ischemia, whereas it occurred in 2% (1/53) of group IV thoracoabdominal aneurysms and 16% (9/55) of group III thoracoabdominal aneurysms (P =.001, suprarenal vs group III; P =. 016, group IV vs group III). Three (25%) of the 12 patients with dissection developed spinal cord ischemia; this compared with seven (5%) of 153 patients with degenerative aneurysms (P =.027). The cumulative 3-year survival rate for the entire series was 71% (95% CI, 64%-79%), and 5-year survival was 50% (95% CI, 40%-60%).
Conclusions: Aneurysms involving the suprarenal, visceral, and lower thoracic aorta may be repaired with acceptable perioperative mortality and late survival rates. The risk of spinal cord ischemia is increased for patients with aortic dissection and may be stratified according to the proximal extent of the aneurysm.