Early Gastrointestinal Complications After Open Thoracoabdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair

Ann Thorac Surg. 2021 Sep;112(3):717-724. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2020.09.032. Epub 2020 Nov 18.


Background: The present study was done to examine the incidence, predictors, and impact of early gastrointestinal (GI) complications after open thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm repair.

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed data from 3587 open thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm repairs performed at our center from 1986 to 2019. We used univariate analyses and multivariable logistic regression to identify risk factors associated with GI complications, including bleeding, ischemia, obstruction, and acute pancreatitis. Adverse event was defined as operative death or persistent stroke, paraplegia, paraparesis, or renal failure necessitating dialysis.

Results: Gastrointestinal complications developed after 213 repairs (5.9%). Gastrointestinal complications less often developed after extent I repair than after repairs that involved infrarenal abdominal aortic segments (ie, extent II to IV repairs; P = .003). Patients who had GI complications more often underwent endarterectomy, stenting, or bypass of visceral arteries (51.2% vs 42.2%; P = .01). Use of selective visceral perfusion did not differ between groups. Patients who had GI complications had higher rates of operative mortality (34.3% vs 6.6%) and adverse events (44.1% vs 13.2%) and had longer hospitalization (29 vs 11 days; P < .001 for all). Independent predictors of GI complications included incidental splenectomy, rupture, non-extent I repair, older age, and longer aortic cross-clamp time. Short-term, midterm, and long-term survival were poorer for patients who had GI complications (P < .001).

Conclusions: Although uncommon, early GI complications after open thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm repair are associated with significant early and late morbidity and mortality. Development of perioperative strategies to mitigate these complications is warranted.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Thoracic / surgery*
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Vascular Surgical Procedures