Purpose: We assessed the distribution of secondary interventions after aortic stent grafting (EVAR) performed to treat infrarenal abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), and evaluated clinical success and survival in patients who underwent a secondary procedure (group 2) compared with patients who did not undergo a secondary procedure (group 1).
Methods: Two hundred fifty patients (mean age, 71.3 years) with asymptomatic AAAs (mean aneurysm diameter, 54.5 mm) underwent treatment with commercially available stent grafts. Mean follow-up was 28 months (median, 25 months). Secondary procedures were defined as any additional procedures performed after initial graft placement to treat endoleak, migration, kinking, stenosis, or occlusion. Overall clinical success was defined according to reporting standards of the Society for Vascular Surgery/American Association for Vascular Surgery.
Results: Sixty-eight patients (27%) required 112 secondary procedures, with a mean time from initial graft placement of 18.2 months. Patients who received grafts since removed from the market required more secondary procedures (59%, procedure:patient ratio) compared with patients who received devices still on the market (21%; P =.001). Thirty-six patients (53%) required a single secondary procedure, 24 patients (35%) required two procedures, 5 patients (10%) required three procedures, 2 patients (3%) required four procedures, and 1 patient required five secondary procedures. Ninety-eight procedures (87%) were performed with endovascular methods, including placement of 42 additional covered stent grafts (36 iliac, 6 aortic), with a success rate of 85%; 35 embolization procedures (21 lumbar, 9 internal iliac artery, 5 mesenteric), with only 23 (65%) successful; 14 angioplasty procedures, with 85% successful; 4 thrombolysis procedures, 2 of them successful (50%); and 3 successfully placed new endografts within a previous endovascular graft. Surgical secondary operations included nine femorofemoral bypass procedures and three femoral thromboendarterectomies, all of which remain patent; one cerclage of an external iliac limb; and one laparoscopic repair of a type II endoleak, which was successful. Overall clinical success rate for EVAR was 84% (211 of 250) in this series. Clinical success rate in groups 1 and 2 was 91% (166 of 182) versus 66% (45 of 68; P =.001) if all endoleaks on the most recent computed tomography scans are taken into account, and 94% (171 of 182) versus 76% (52 of 68; P =.001) if type II endoleak without aneurysm growth is not considered failure. The survival rate and rupture-free survival in groups 1 and 2 were, respectively, 97.7% +/- 1.0% and 98.5% +/- 1.4% at 1 month, 95.9% +/- 1.5% and 96.9% +/- 2.1% at 6 months, 94.4% +/- 2.0% and 93.2% +/- 3.4% at 1 year, and 80.8% +/- 5.2% and 88.5% +/- 5.0% at 3 years (P =.273, log-rank test).
Conclusion: With close follow-up and a significant number of secondary operations, this 8-year experience has not included any aneurysm ruptures to date. Secondary operations did not lead to increased mortality, but were associated with more surgical conversions and with a higher clinical failure rate.