Background: Whether elective endovascular repair of abdominal aortic aneurysm reduces long-term morbidity and mortality, as compared with traditional open repair, remains uncertain.
Methods: We randomly assigned 881 patients with asymptomatic abdominal aortic aneurysms who were candidates for both procedures to either endovascular repair (444) or open repair (437) and followed them for up to 9 years (mean, 5.2). Patients were selected from 42 Veterans Affairs medical centers and were 49 years of age or older at the time of registration.
Results: More than 95% of the patients underwent the assigned repair. For the primary outcome of all-cause mortality, 146 deaths occurred in each group (hazard ratio with endovascular repair versus open repair, 0.97; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.77 to 1.22; P=0.81). The previously reported reduction in perioperative mortality with endovascular repair was sustained at 2 years (hazard ratio, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.40 to 0.98; P=0.04) and at 3 years (hazard ratio, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.51 to 1.00; P=0.05) but not thereafter. There were 10 aneurysm-related deaths in the endovascular-repair group (2.3%) versus 16 in the open-repair group (3.7%) (P=0.22). Six aneurysm ruptures were confirmed in the endovascular-repair group versus none in the open-repair group (P=0.03). A significant interaction was observed between age and type of treatment (P=0.006); survival was increased among patients under 70 years of age in the endovascular-repair group but tended to be better among those 70 years of age or older in the open-repair group.
Conclusions: Endovascular repair and open repair resulted in similar long-term survival. The perioperative survival advantage with endovascular repair was sustained for several years, but rupture after repair remained a concern. Endovascular repair led to increased long-term survival among younger patients but not among older patients, for whom a greater benefit from the endovascular approach had been expected. (Funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Research and Development; OVER ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00094575.).