Background: Colonic ischemia remains a severe complication after abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair and is associated with a high mortality. With open repair being one of the main risk factors of colonic ischemia, deciding between endovascular or open aneurysm repair should be based on tailor-made medicine. This study aims to identify high-risk patients of colonic ischemia, a risk that can be taken into account while deciding on AAA treatment strategy.
Methods: A nationwide population-based cohort study of 9,433 patients who underwent an AAA operation between 2014 and 2016 was conducted. Potential risk factors were determined by reviewing prior studies and univariate analysis. With logistic regression analysis, independent predictors of intestinal ischemia were established. These variables were used to form a prediction model.
Results: Intestinal ischemia occurred in 267 patients (2.8%). Occurrence of intestinal ischemia was seen significantly more in open repair versus endovascular aneurysm repair (7.6% vs. 0.9%; P < 0.001). This difference remained significant after stratification by urgency of the procedure, in both intact open (4.2% vs. 0.4%; P < 0.001) and ruptured open repair (15.0% vs. 6.2%); P < 0.001). Rupture of the AAA was the most important predictor of developing intestinal ischemia (odds ratio [OR], 5.9, 95% confidence interval [CI] 4.4-8.0), followed by having a suprarenal AAA (OR 3.4; CI 1.1-10.6). Associated procedural factors were open repair (OR 2.8; 95% CI 1.9-4.2), blood loss >1L (OR 3.6; 95% CI 1.7-7.5), and prolonged operating time (OR 2.0; 95% CI 1.4-2.8). Patient characteristics included having peripheral arterial disease (OR 2.4; 95% CI 1.3-4.4), female gender (OR 1.7; 95% CI 1.2-2.4), renal insufficiency (OR 1.7; 1.3-2.2), and pulmonary history (OR 1.6; 95% CI 1.2-2.2). Age <68 years proved to be a protective factor (OR 0.5; 95% CI 0.4-0.8). Associated mortality was higher in patients with intestinal ischemia versus patients without (50.6% vs. 5.1%, P < 0.001). Each predictor was given a score between 1 and 4. Patients with a score of ≥10 proved to be at high risk. A prediction model with an excellent AUC = 0.873 (95% CI 0.855-0.892) could be formed.
Conclusions: One of the main risk factors is open repair. Several other risk factors can contribute to developing colonic ischemia after AAA repair. The proposed prediction model can be used to identify patients at high risk for developing colonic ischemia. With the current trend in AAA repair leaning toward open repair for better long-term results, our prediction model allows a better informed decision can be made in AAA treatment strategy.
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