Endoleak as a complication of endoluminal grafting of abdominal aortic aneurysms: classification, incidence, diagnosis, and management

J Endovasc Surg. 1997 May;4(2):152-68. doi: 10.1177/152660289700400207.


The inability to obtain or maintain a secure seal between a vessel wall and a transluminally implanted intra-aneurysmal graft is a complication unique to the evolving technique of endovascular aneurysm exclusion. Because the term "leak" has long been associated with aneurysm rupture, the term "endoleak" is proposed as a more definitive description of this phenomenon. Embracing both persistent blood flow into the aneurysmal sac from within or around the graft (graft related) and from patent collateral arteries (nongraft related), endoleak can be classified as primary or secondary depending on the time of occurrence (within 30 days of implantation or following apparent initial seal, respectively). Diagnostic techniques to detect endoleak include arteriography, intraprocedural pressure monitoring, contrast-enhanced computed tomography, abdominal X ray, and duplex scanning. Management strategies for endoleak range from observation with periodic imaging surveillance to correction by additional endoluminal or surgical procedures. Standardization of the terminology describing this important sequela to endovascular aneurysm exclusion should facilitate uniform reporting of clinical trial data vital to the evaluation of this emerging technique.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal / diagnostic imaging
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal / surgery*
  • Aortography
  • Blood Loss, Surgical*
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis / adverse effects*
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis / methods
  • Catheterization
  • Embolization, Therapeutic
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Postoperative Hemorrhage* / classification
  • Postoperative Hemorrhage* / diagnosis
  • Postoperative Hemorrhage* / etiology
  • Postoperative Hemorrhage* / therapy
  • Prosthesis Design
  • Prosthesis Failure
  • Radiographic Image Enhancement
  • Terminology as Topic
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Duplex