Late abdominal aortic aneurysm enlargement after endovascular repair with the excluder device

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Objectives Behavior of the abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) sac after endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm repair (EVAR) is graft-dependent. The Excluder endograft has been associated with less sac regression than some other stent grafts. Long-term follow-up has not been reported. Methods Between May 1999 and July 2002, 50 patients underwent EVAR with the Excluder bifurcated endoprosthesis. These patients were followed up prospectively with computed tomography (CT) at 1, 6, and 12 months and yearly thereafter. One immediate conversion to open surgery and three deaths occurred within 6 months. One additional patient was lost to follow-up. The remaining 45 patients, 35 men and 10 women, were followed up for at least 1 year, and form the basis for this report. Their mean age was 73 ± 5.5 years. The minor axis diameter at the largest area of the AAA on CT examination was compared with the baseline measurement at 1 month and to the smallest size previously recorded during follow-up. Change in sac size of 5 mm or greater was considered significant. Mean follow-up was 2.7 ± 1.2 years (range, 1-4 years). Nominal variables were compared with the χ2 test, and continuous variables with the Student t test. Results A significant decrease in average AAA sac diameter was observed at 6-month, 1-year, and 2-year follow-up. These differences were lost by the 3-year evaluation, because of delayed sac growth (n = 9) and re-expansion of once shrunken aneurysms (n = 3). The probability of freedom from sac growth or re-expansion at 4 years was only 43%. At last follow-up, sac expansion occurred in the absence of active endoleak in nine patients. Type II endoleak was associated with sac expansion in three patients (P = .003), resulting in one conversion to open surgery after the 4-year follow-up. No graft migrations, AAA ruptures, or aneurysm-related deaths were noted. Conclusions Late aneurysm sac growth or re-expansion after EVAR with the Excluder device is common, even in the absence of endoleak. Although the incidence of important clinical sequelae is low at this point, the incidence of aneurysm expansion should be taken into consideration during the risk-benefit assessment before EVAR repair with the Excluder device.




Cho, J. S., Dillavou, E. D., Rhee, R. Y., & Makaroun, M. S. (2004). Late abdominal aortic aneurysm enlargement after endovascular repair with the excluder device. Journal of Vascular Surgery, 39(6), 1236–1241.

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