Open infrarenal abdominal aortic aneurysm repair: the Cleveland Clinic experience from 1989 to 1998

J Vasc Surg. 2002 Jun;35(6):1145-54. doi: 10.1067/mva.2002.123686.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the safety and durability of traditional surgical treatment for asymptomatic infrarenal abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) in a large series of patients who underwent open operations during the decade preceding the commercial availability of stent graft devices for endovascular AAA repair.

Methods: From 1989 to 1998, 1135 consecutive patients (985 men [87%], 150 women; mean age, 70 +/- 7 years) underwent elective graft replacement of infrarenal AAA. Computerized perioperative data have been supplemented with a retrospective review of hospital charts/outpatient records and a telephone canvass to calculate survival rates and the incidence rate of subsequent graft-related complications. Seventy-four patients (6.5%) were lost during a median follow-up period of 57 months for the entire series.

Results: The 30-day mortality rate was 1.2%. The hospital course was completely uneventful for 939 patients (83%), and the median length of stay for all patients was 8 days. A total of 196 patients had single (n = 150; 13%) or multiple (n = 46; 4%) postoperative complications, which were more likely to occur in men (odds ratio [OR], 2.3; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1 to 5.2) and in patients with a history of congestive heart failure (OR, 3.7; 95% CI, 1.7 to 7.8), chronic pulmonary disease (OR, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.2 to 2.9), or renal insufficiency (OR, 2.5; 95% CI, 1.3 to 4.7). Kaplan-Meier method survival rate estimates were 75% at 5 years and 49% at 10 years. As was the case with early complications, the long-term mortality rate primarily was influenced by age of more than 75 years (risk ratio [RR], 2.2; 95% CI, 1.7 to 2.8) or previous history of congestive heart failure (RR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.3 to 3.4), chronic pulmonary disease (RR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.2 to 2.0), or renal insufficiency (RR, 3.2; 95% CI, 2.2 to 4.6). Of the 1047 patients who survived their operations and remained available for follow-up study, only four (0.4%) have had late complications that were related to their aortic replacement grafts.

Conclusion: These results reconfirm the exemplary success of open infrarenal AAA repair. The future of endovascular AAA repair is exceedingly bright, but until the long-term outcome of the current generation of stent grafts is adequately documented, their use should be justified by the presence of serious surgical risk factors.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal / mortality
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal / surgery*
  • Aortic Rupture / surgery
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis Implantation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome