Mid-term survival after abdominal aortic aneurysm surgery predicted by cardiopulmonary exercise testing

Br J Surg. 2007 Aug;94(8):966-9. doi: 10.1002/bjs.5734.


Background: Cardiopulmonary exercise (CPX) testing measures how efficiently subjects meet increased metabolic demand. This study aimed to determine whether preoperative CPX testing predicted postoperative survival following elective abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair.

Methods: Some 130 patients had CPX testing before elective open AAA repair. Additional preoperative, operative and postoperative variables were recorded prospectively. Median follow-up was 35 months. The correlation of variables with survival was assessed by single and multiple regression analyses.

Results: CPX testing identified 30 of 130 patients who had been unfit before surgery. Two years after surgery the Kaplan-Meier survival estimate was 55 per cent for the 30 unfit patients, compared with 97 per cent for the 100 fit patients. The absolute difference in survival between these two groups at 2 years was 42 (95 per cent confidence interval 18 to 65) per cent (P < 0.001).

Conclusion: Preoperative CPX testing, combined with simple co-morbidity scoring, identified patients unlikely to survive in the mid-term, even after successful AAA repair.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal / mortality
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal / physiopathology
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal / surgery*
  • Carbon Dioxide / metabolism
  • Elective Surgical Procedures
  • Exercise Test
  • Humans
  • Maximal Expiratory Flow-Volume Curves / physiology
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Physical Fitness
  • Postoperative Complications / mortality*
  • Postoperative Complications / physiopathology
  • Preoperative Care / methods
  • Risk Assessment
  • Survival Analysis


  • Carbon Dioxide