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Follow‐up after endovascular aortic aneurysm repair can be stratified based on first postoperative imaging. BJS 2018; 105: 709-718.

Published: 26th March 2018

Authors: H. Baderkhan, O. Haller, A. Wanhainen, M. Björck, K. Mani

Background

Lifelong postoperative surveillance is recommended following endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR). Although the purpose is to prevent and/or identify complications early, it also results in increased cost and workload. This study was designed to examine whether it may be possible to identify patients at low risk of complications based on their first postoperative CT angiogram (CTA).

Method

All patients undergoing EVAR in two Swedish centres between 2001 and 2012 were identified retrospectively and categorized based on the first postoperative CTA as at low risk (proximal and distal sealing zone at least 10 mm and no endoleak) or high risk (sealing zone less than 10 mm and/or presence of any endoleak) of complications.

Results

Some 326 patients (273 men) with a CTA performed less than 1 year after EVAR were included (low risk 212, 65·0 per cent; high risk 114, 35·0 per cent). There was no difference between the groups in terms of sex, age, co‐morbidities, abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) diameter, preoperative AAA neck anatomy, stent‐graft type or duration of follow‐up (mean(s.d.) 4·8(3·2) years). Five‐year freedom from AAA‐related adverse events was 97·1 and 47·7 per cent in the low‐ and high‐risk groups respectively (P < 0·001). The corresponding freedom from AAA‐related reintervention was 96·2 and 54·1 per cent (P < 0·001). The method had a sensitivity of 88·3 per cent, specificity of 77·0 per cent and negative predictive value of 96·6 per cent to detect AAA‐related adverse events. The number of surveillance imaging per AAA‐related adverse event was 168 versus 11 for the low‐risk versus high‐risk group.

Conclusion

Two‐thirds of patients undergoing EVAR have an adequate seal and no endoleak on the first postoperative CTA, and a very low risk of AAA‐related events up to 5 years. Less vigilant follow‐up after EVAR may be considered for these patients.

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