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1.  Endovascular Repair of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm 
The Medical Advisory Secretariat conducted a systematic review of the evidence on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of endovascular repair of abdominal aortic aneurysm in comparison to open surgical repair. An abdominal aortic aneurysm [AAA] is the enlargement and weakening of the aorta (major blood artery) that may rupture and result in stroke and death. Endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm repair [EVAR] is a procedure for repairing abdominal aortic aneurysms from within the blood vessel without open surgery. In this procedure, an aneurysm is excluded from blood circulation by an endograft (a device) delivered to the site of the aneurysm via a catheter inserted into an artery in the groin. The Medical Advisory Secretariat conducted a review of the evidence on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of this technology. The review included 44 eligible articles out of 489 citations identified through a systematic literature search. Most of the research evidence is based on non-randomized comparative studies and case series. In the short-term, EVAR appears to be safe and comparable to open surgical repair in terms of survival. It is associated with less severe hemodynamic changes, less blood transfusion and shorter stay in the intensive care and hospital. However, there is concern about a high incidence of endoleak, requiring secondary interventions, and in some cases, conversion to open surgical repair. Current evidence does not support the use of EVAR in all patients. EVAR might benefit individuals who are not fit for surgical repair of abdominal aortic aneurysm and whose risk of rupture of the aneurysm outweighs the risk of death from EVAR. The long-term effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of EVAR cannot be determined at this time. Further evaluation of this technology is required.
The objective of this health technology policy assessment was to determine the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of endovascular repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms (EVAR) in comparison to open surgical repair (OSR).
Clinical Need
An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a localized, abnormal dilatation of the aorta greater than 3 cm or 50% of the aortic diameter at the diaphragm. (1) A true AAA involves all 3 layers of the vessel wall. If left untreated, the continuing extension and thinning of the vessel wall may eventually result in rupture of the AAA. The risk of death from ruptured AAA is 80% to 90%. (61) Heller et al. (44) analyzed information from a national hospital database in the United States. They found no significant change in the incidence rate of elective AAA repair or ruptured AAA presented to the nation’s hospitals. The investigators concluded that technologic and treatment advances over the past 19 years have not affected the outcomes of patients with AAAs, and the ability to identify and to treat patients with AAAs has not improved.
Classification of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms
At least 90% of the AAAs are affected by atherosclerosis, and most of these aneurysms are below the level of the renal arteries.(1)
An abdominal aortic aneurysm may be symptomatic or asymptomatic. An AAA may be classified according to their sizes:(7)
Small aneurysms: less than 5 cm in diameter.
Medium aneurysms: 5-7cm.
Large aneurysms: more than 7 cm in diameter.
Small aneurysms account for approximately 50% of all clinically recognized aneurysms.(7)
Aortic aneurysms may be classified according to their gross appearance as follows (1):
Fusiform aneurysms affect the entire circumference of a vessel, resulting in a diffusely dilated lesion
Saccular aneurysms involve only a portion of the circumference, resulting in an outpouching (protrusion) in the vessel wall.
Prevalence of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms
In community surveys, the prevalence of AAA is reported to be between 1% and 5.4%. (61) The prevalence is related to age and vascular risk factors. It is more common in men and in those with a positive family history.
In Canada, Abdominal aortic aneurysms are the 10th leading cause of death in men 65 years of age or older. (60) Naylor (60) reported that the rate of AAA repair in Ontario has increased from 38 per 100,000 population in 1981/1982 to 54 per 100,000 population in 1991/1992. For the period of 1989/90 to 1991/92, the rate of AAA repair in Ontarians age 45 years and over was 53 per 100,000. (60) In the United States, about 200,000 new cases are diagnosed each year, and 50,000 to 60,000 surgical AAA repairs are performed. (2) Ruptured AAAs are responsible for about 15,000 deaths in the United States annually. One in 10 men older than 80 years has some aneurysmal change in his aorta. (2)
Symptoms of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms
AAAs usually do not produce symptoms. However, as they expand, they may become painful. Compression or erosion of adjacent tissue by aneurysms also may cause symptoms. The formation of mural thrombi, a type of blood clots, within the aneurysm may predispose people to peripheral embolization, where blood vessels become blocked. Occasionally, an aneurysm may leak into the vessel wall and the periadventitial area, causing pain and local tenderness. More often, acute rupture occurs without any prior warning, causing acute pain and hypotension. This complication is always life-threatening and requires an emergency operation.
Diagnosis of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms
An AAA is usually detected on routine examination as a palpable, pulsatile, and non-tender mass. (1)
Abdominal radiography may show the calcified outline of the aneurysms; however, about 25% of aneurysms are not calcified and cannot be visualized by plain x-ray. (1) An abdominal ultrasound provides more accurate detection, can delineate the traverse and longitudinal dimensions of the aneurysm, and is useful for serial documentation of aneurysm size. Computed tomography and magnetic resonance have also been used for follow-up of aortic aneurysms. These technologies, particularly contrast-enhanced computer tomography, provide higher resolution than ultrasound.
Abdominal aortography remains the gold standard to evaluate patients with aneurysms for surgery. This technique helps document the extent of the aneurysms, especially their upper and lower limits. It also helps show the extent of associated athereosclerotic vascular disease. However, the procedure carries a small risk of complications, such as bleeding, allergic reactions, and atheroembolism. (1)
Prognosis of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms
The risk of rupture of an untreated AAA is a continuous function of aneurysm size as represented by the maximal diameter of the AAA. The annual rupture rate is near zero for aneurysms less than 4 cm in diameter. The risk is about 1% per year for aneurysms 4 to 4.9 cm, 11% per year for aneurysms 5 to 5.9 cm, and 25% per year or more for aneurysms greater than 6 cm. (7)
The 1-year mortality rate of patients with AAAs who do not undergo surgical treatment is about 25% if the aneurysms are 4 to 6 cm in diameter. This increases to 50% for aneurysms exceeding 6 cm. Other major causes of mortality for people with AAAs include coronary heart disease and stroke.
Treatment of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms
Treatment of an aneurysm is indicated under any one of the following conditions:
The AAA is greater than 6 cm in diameter.
The patient is symptomatic.
The AAA is rapidly expanding irrespective of the absolute diameter.
Open surgical repair of AAA is still the gold standard. It is a major operation involving the excision of dilated area and placement of a sutured woven graft. The surgery may be performed under emergent situation following the rupture of an AAA, or it may be performed electively.
Elective OSR is generally considered appropriate for healthy patients with aneurysms 5 to 6 cm in diameter. (7) Coronary artery disease is the major underlying illness contributing to morbidity and mortality in OSR. Other medical comorbidities, such as chronic renal failure, chronic lung disease, and liver cirrhosis with portal hypertension, may double or triple the usual risk of OSR.
Serial noninvasive follow-up of small aneurysms (less than 5 cm) is an alternative to immediate surgery.
Endovascular repair of AAA is the third treatment option and is the topic of this review.
PMCID: PMC3387737  PMID: 23074438
2.  Management of the Infected Aortoiliac Aneurysms 
Annals of Vascular Diseases  2012;5(3):334-341.
Purpose: We have reviewed ruptured and nonruptured infected aortoiliac aneurysms to study the clinical presentation, management and eventual outcome of patients managed with in situ prostheses, axillofemoral prostheses grafts and endovascular reconstruction.
Design: A retrospective chart review of 16 cases treated at a single institution.
Methods: From January 2007 to March 2008, a total of 93 patients with aortoiliac aneurysms underwent surgical repair at our institution. Among these, 16 patients (17.2%) were shown to be infected aneurysms of the infrarenal (n = 6), juxtarenal (n = 2), and pararenal aorta (n = 1); the others were 5 common, 1 external, and 1 internal iliac arteries. Fourteen patients were male and 2 were female with the mean age of 66 years (range, 45–79). In all cases, the diagnosis was confirmed by abdominal computed tomography and empirical parenteral antibiotics were administered at least 1 week, unless in patients need emergency operations. At the time of an operation, all were saccular and were classified as primary infected aortoiliac aneurysms. Thirteen patients had surgical debridement with in situ graft interposition and omental wrapping, 2 underwent aneurysm exclusion and extra-anatomic (axillo-femoral) bypass, 1 underwent aneurysmectomy of left external iliac artery and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) graft interposition, and 1 underwent endovascular exclusion. The parenteral antibiotics were continued in the postoperative period for 4–6 weeks. Chronic renal disease was present in 37.5% (6/16), with diabetes mellitus present in 31.25% (5/16). The most common pathogen was Salmonella sp. (n = 6) and E. coli (n = 5). Thirty-seven percent (6/16) of the patients presented late, with a 37.5% (6/16) incidence of ruptured (4 contained, 2 free ruptured) that needed emergency surgery.
Results: Disease-specific mortality was 31.25% (5/16). The 30-day mortality rate of ruptured cases is high 67% (4/6), because patients present late in the course of the disease. One patient who underwent aneurysm exclusion and extra-anatomic (axillo-femoral) bypass died 6 months later from burst aortic stump. Salmonella and E. coli are the most common pathogens.
Conclusions: Early diagnosis followed by surgical intervention with proper antibiotic coverage provides the best results. Mortality rate was still high in patients with sepsis and rupture. An in situ graft interposition and omental wrapping is a safe option for revascularization of infected aneurysms of the iliac arteries and infrarenal aorta.
PMCID: PMC3595853  PMID: 23555533
infected aortoiliac aneurysms; open repair; endovascular repair
3.  Coil Embolization for Intracranial Aneurysms 
Executive Summary
To determine the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of coil embolization compared with surgical clipping to treat intracranial aneurysms.
The Technology
Endovascular coil embolization is a percutaneous approach to treat an intracranial aneurysm from within the blood vessel without the need of a craniotomy. In this procedure, a microcatheter is inserted into the femoral artery near the groin and navigated to the site of the aneurysm. Small helical platinum coils are deployed through the microcatheter to fill the aneurysm, and prevent it from further expansion and rupture. Health Canada has approved numerous types of coils and coil delivery systems to treat intracranial aneurysms. The most favoured are controlled detachable coils. Coil embolization may be used with other adjunct endovascular devices such as stents and balloons.
Intracranial Aneurysms
Intracranial aneurysms are the dilation or ballooning of part of a blood vessel in the brain. Intracranial aneurysms range in size from small (<12 mm in diameter) to large (12–25 mm), and to giant (>25 mm). There are 3 main types of aneurysms. Fusiform aneurysms involve the entire circumference of the artery; saccular aneurysms have outpouchings; and dissecting aneurysms have tears in the arterial wall. Berry aneurysms are saccular aneurysms with well-defined necks.
Intracranial aneurysms may occur in any blood vessel of the brain; however, they are most commonly found at the branch points of large arteries that form the circle of Willis at the base of the brain. In 85% to 95% of patients, they are found in the anterior circulation. Aneurysms in the posterior circulation are less frequent, and are more difficult to treat surgically due to inaccessibility.
Most intracranial aneurysms are small and asymptomatic. Large aneurysms may have a mass effect, causing compression on the brain and cranial nerves and neurological deficits. When an intracranial aneurysm ruptures and bleeds, resulting in a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), the mortality rate can be 40% to 50%, with severe morbidity of 10% to 20%. The reported overall risk of rupture is 1.9% per year and is higher for women, cigarette smokers, and cocaine users, and in aneurysms that are symptomatic, greater than 10 mm in diameter, or located in the posterior circulation. If left untreated, there is a considerable risk of repeat hemorrhage in a ruptured aneurysm that results in increased mortality.
In Ontario, intracranial aneurysms occur in about 1% to 4% of the population, and the annual incidence of SAH is about 10 cases per 100,000 people. In 2004-2005, about 660 intracranial aneurysm repairs were performed in Ontario.
Treatment of Intracranial Aneurysms
Treatment of an unruptured aneurysm attempts to prevent the aneurysm from rupturing. The treatment of a ruptured intracranial aneurysm aims to prevent further hemorrhage. There are 3 approaches to treating an intracranial aneurysm.
Small, asymptomatic aneurysms less than 10 mm in diameter may be monitored without any intervention other than treatment for underlying risk factors such as hypertension.
Open surgical clipping, involves craniotomy, brain retraction, and placement of a silver clip across the neck of the aneurysm while a patient is under general anesthesia. This procedure is associated with surgical risks and neurological deficits.
Endovascular coil embolization, introduced in the 1990s, is the health technology under review.
Literature Review
The Medical Advisory Secretariat searched the International Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) Database and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews to identify relevant systematic reviews. OVID Medline, Medline In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, and Embase were searched for English-language journal articles that reported primary data on the effectiveness or cost-effectiveness of treatments for intracranial aneurysms, obtained in a clinical setting or analyses of primary data maintained in registers or institutional databases. Internet searches of Medscape and manufacturers’ databases were conducted to identify product information and recent reports on trials that were unpublished but that were presented at international conferences. Four systematic reviews, 3 reports on 2 randomized controlled trials comparing coil embolization with surgical clipping of ruptured aneurysms, 30 observational studies, and 3 economic analysis reports were included in this review.
Safety and Effectiveness
Coil embolization appears to be a safe procedure. Complications associated with coil embolization ranged from 8.6% to 18.6% with a median of about 10.6%. Observational studies showed that coil embolization is associated with lower complication rates than surgical clipping (permanent complication 3-7% versus 10.9%; overall 23% versus 46% respectively, p=0.009). Common complications of coil embolization are thrombo-embolic events (2.5%–14.5%), perforation of aneurysm (2.3%–4.7%), parent artery obstruction (2%–3%), collapsed coils (8%), coil malposition (14.6%), and coil migration (0.5%–3%).
Randomized controlled trials showed that for ruptured intracranial aneurysms with SAH, suitable for both coil embolization and surgical clipping (mostly saccular aneurysms <10 mm in diameter located in the anterior circulation) in people with good clinical condition:Coil embolization resulted in a statistically significant 23.9% relative risk reduction and 7% absolute risk reduction in the composite rate of death and dependency compared to surgical clipping (modified Rankin score 3–6) at 1-year.
The advantage of coil embolization over surgical clipping varies widely with aneurysm location, but endovascular treatment seems beneficial for all sites.
There were less deaths in the first 7 years following coil embolization compared to surgical clipping (10.8% vs 13.7%). This survival benefit seemed to be consistent over time, and was statistically significant (log-rank p= 0.03).
Coil embolization is associated with less frequent MRI-detected superficial brain deficits and ischemic lesions at 1-year.
The 1- year rebleeding rate was 2.4% after coil embolization and 1% for surgical clipping. Confirmed rebleeding from the repaired aneurysm after the first year and up to year eight was low and not significantly different between coil embolization and surgical clipping (7 patients for coil embolization vs 2 patients for surgical clipping, log-rank p=0.22).
Observational studies showed that patients with SAH and good clinical grade had better 6-month outcomes and lower risk of symptomatic cerebral vasospasm after coil embolization compared to surgical clipping.
For unruptured intracranial aneurysms, there were no randomized controlled trials that compared coil embolization to surgical clipping. Large observational studies showed that:
The risk of rupture in unruptured aneurysms less than 10 mm in diameter is about 0.05% per year for patients with no pervious history of SAH from another aneurysm. The risk of rupture increases with history of SAH and as the diameter of the aneurysm reaches 10 mm or more.
Coil embolization reduced the composite rate of in hospital deaths and discharge to long-term or short-term care facilities compared to surgical clipping (Odds Ratio 2.2, 95% CI 1.6–3.1, p<0.001). The improvement in discharge disposition was highest in people older than 65 years.
In-hospital mortality rate following treatment of intracranial aneurysm ranged from 0.5% to 1.7% for coil embolization and from 2.1% to 3.5% for surgical clipping. The overall 1-year mortality rate was 3.1% for coil embolization and 2.3% for surgical clipping. One-year morbidity rate was 6.4% for coil embolization and 9.8% for surgical clipping. It is not clear whether these differences were statistically significant.
Coil embolization is associated with shorter hospital stay compared to surgical clipping.
For both ruptured and unruptured aneurysms, the outcome of coil embolization does not appear to be dependent on age, whereas surgical clipping has been shown to yield worse outcome for patients older than 64 years.
Angiographic Efficiency and Recurrences
The main drawback of coil embolization is its low angiographic efficiency. The percentage of complete aneurysm occlusion after coil embolization (27%–79%, median 55%) remains lower than that achieved with surgical clipping (82%–100%). However, about 90% of coiled aneurysms achieve near total occlusion or better. Incompletely coiled aneurysms have been shown to have higher aneurysm recurrence rates ranging from 7% to 39% for coil embolization compared to 2.9% for surgical clipping. Recurrence is defined as refilling of the neck, sac, or dome of a successfully treated aneurysm as shown on an angiogram. The long-term clinical significance of incomplete occlusion following coil embolization is unknown, but in one case series, 20% of patients had major recurrences, and 50% of these required further treatment.
Long-Term Outcomes
A large international randomized trial reported that the survival benefit from coil embolization was sustained for at least 7 years. The rebleeding rate between year 2 and year 8 following coil embolization was low and not significantly different from that of surgical clipping. However, high quality long-term angiographic evidence is lacking. Accordingly, there is uncertainty about long-term occlusion status, coil durability, and recurrence rates. While surgical clipping is associated with higher immediate procedural risks, its long-term effectiveness has been established.
Indications and Contraindications
Coil embolization offers treatment for people at increased risk for craniotomy, such as those over 65 years of age, with poor clinical status, or with comorbid conditions. The technology also makes it possible to treat surgical high-risk aneurysms.
Not all aneurysms are suitable for coil embolization. Suitability depends on the size, anatomy, and location of the aneurysm. Aneurysms more than 10 mm in diameter or with an aneurysm neck greater than or equal to 4 mm are less likely to achieve total occlusion. They are also more prone to aneurysm recurrences and to complications such as coil compaction or parent vessel occlusion. Aneurysms with a dome to neck ratio of less than 1 have been shown to have lower obliteration rates and poorer outcome following coil embolization. Furthermore, aneurysms in the middle cerebral artery bifurcation are less suitable for coil embolization. For some aneurysms, treatment may require the use of both coil embolization and surgical clipping or adjunctive technologies, such as stents and balloons, to obtain optimal results.
Information from 3 countries indicates that coil embolization is a rapidly diffusing technology. For example, it accounted for about 40% of aneurysm treatments in the United Kingdom.
In Ontario, coil embolization is an insured health service, with the same fee code and fee schedule as open surgical repair requiring craniotomy. Other costs associated with coil embolization are covered under hospitals’ global budgets. Utilization data showed that in 2004-2005, coil embolization accounted for about 38% (251 cases) of all intracranial aneurysm repairs in the province. With the 2005 publication of the positive long-term survival data from the International Subarachnoid Aneursym Trial, the pressure for diffusion will likely increase.
Economic Analysis
Recent economic studies show that treatment of unruptured intracranial aneurysms smaller than 10 mm in diameter in people with no previous history of SAH, either by coil embolization or surgical clipping, would not be effective or cost-effective. However, in patients with aneurysms that are greater than or equal to 10 mm or symptomatic, or in patients with a history of SAH, treatment appears to be cost-effective.
In Ontario, the average device cost of coil embolization per case was estimated to be about $7,500 higher than surgical clipping. Assuming that the total number of intracranial aneurysm repairs in Ontario increases to 750 in the fiscal year of 2007, and assuming that up to 60% (450 cases) of these will be repaired by coil embolization, the difference in device costs for the 450 cases (including a 15% recurrence rate) would be approximately $3.8 million. This figure does not include capital costs (e.g. $3 million for an angiosuite), additional human resources required, or costs of follow-up. The increase in expenditures associated with coil embolization may be offset partially, by shorter operating room times and hospitalization stays for endovascular repair of unruptured aneurysms; however, the impact of these cost savings is probably not likely to be greater than 25% of the total outlay since the majority of cases involve ruptured aneurysms. Furthermore, the recent growth in aneurysm repair has predominantly been in the area of coil embolization presumably for patients for whom surgical clipping would not be advised; therefore, no offset of surgical clipping costs could be applied in such cases. For ruptured aneurysms, downstream cost savings from endovascular repair are likely to be minimal even though the savings for individual cases may be substantial due to lower perioperative complications for endovascular aneurysm repair.
The two Guidance documents issued by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (UK) in 2005 support the use of coil embolization for both unruptured and ruptured (SAH) intracranial aneurysms, provided that procedures are in place for informed consent, audit, and clinical governance, and that the procedure is performed in specialist units with expertise in the endovascular treatment of intracranial aneurysms.
For people in good clinical condition following subarachnoid hemorrhage from an acute ruptured intracranial aneurysm suitable for either surgical clipping or endovascular repair, coil embolization results in improved independent survival in the first year and improved survival for up to seven years compared to surgical clipping. The rebleeding rate is low and not significantly different between the two procedures after the first year. However, there is uncertainty regarding the long-term occlusion status, durability of the stent graft, and long-term complications.
For people with unruptured aneurysms, level 4 evidence suggests that coil embolization may be associated with comparable or less mortality and morbidity, shorter hospital stay, and less need for discharge to short-term rehabilitation facilities. The greatest benefit was observed in people over 65 years of age. In these patients, the decision regarding treatment needs to be based on the assessment of the risk of rupture against the risk of the procedure, as well as the morphology of the aneurysm.
In people who require treatment for intracranial aneurysm, but for whom surgical clipping is too risky or not feasible, coil embolization provides survival benefits over surgical clipping, even though the outcomes may not be as favourable as in people in good clinical condition and with small aneurysms. The procedure may be considered under the following circumstances provided that the aneurysm is suitable for coil embolization:
Patients in poor/unstable clinical or neurological state
Patients at high risk for surgical repair (e.g. people>age 65 or with comorbidity), or
Aneurysm(s) with poor accessibility or visibility for surgical treatment due to their location (e.g. ophthalmic or basilar tip aneurysms)
Compared to small aneurysms with a narrow neck in the anterior circulation, large aneurysms (> 10 mm in diameter), aneurysms with a wide neck (>4mm in diameter), and aneurysms in the posterior circulation have lower occlusion rates and higher rate of hemorrhage when treated with coil embolization.
The extent of aneurysm obliteration after coil embolization remains lower than that achieved with surgical clipping. Aneurysm recurrences after successful coiling may require repeat treatment with endovascular or surgical procedures. Experts caution that long-term angiographic outcomes of coil embolization are unknown at this time. Informed consent for and long-term follow-up after coil embolization are recommended.
The decision to treat an intracranial aneurysm with surgical clipping or coil embolization needs to be made jointly by the neurosurgeon and neuro-intervention specialist, based on the clinical status of the patient, the size and morphology of the aneurysm, and the preference of the patient.
The performance of endovascular coil embolization should take place in centres with expertise in both neurosurgery and endovascular neuro-interventions, with adequate treatment volumes to maintain good outcomes. Distribution of the technology should also take into account that patients with SAH should be treated as soon as possible with minimal disruption.
PMCID: PMC3379525  PMID: 23074479
4.  Endovascular Repair of Descending Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm 
Executive Summary
To conduct an assessment on endovascular repair of descending thoracic aortic aneurysm (TAA).
Clinical Need
Aneurysm is the most common condition of the thoracic aorta requiring surgery. Aortic aneurysm is defined as a localized dilatation of the aorta. Most aneurysms of the thoracic aorta are asymptomatic and incidentally discovered. However, TAA tends to enlarge progressively and compress surrounding structures causing symptoms such as chest or back pain, dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), dyspnea (shortness of breath), cough, stridor (a harsh, high-pitched breath sound), and hoarseness. Significant aortic regurgitation causes symptoms of congestive heart failure. Embolization of the thrombus to the distal arterial circulation may occur and cause related symptoms. The aneurysm may eventually rupture and create a life-threatening condition.
The overall incidence rate of TAA is about 10 per 100,000 person-years. The descending aorta is involved in about 30% to 40% of these cases.
The prognosis of large untreated TAAs is poor, with a 3-year survival rate as low as 25%. Intervention is strongly recommended for any symptomatic TAA or any TAA that exceeds twice the diameter of a normal aorta or is 6 cm or larger. Open surgical treatment of TAA involves left thoracotomy and aortic graft replacement. Surgical treatment has been found to improve survival when compared with medical therapy. However, despite dramatic advances in surgical techniques for performing such complex operations, operative mortality from centres of excellence are between 8% and 20% for elective cases, and up to 50% in patients requiring emergency operations. In addition, survivors of open surgical repair of TAAs may suffer from severe complications. Postoperative or postprocedural complications of descending TAA repair include paraplegia, myocardial infarction, stroke, respiratory failure, renal failure, and intestinal ischemia.
The Technology
Endovascular aortic aneurysm repair (EVAR) using a stent graft, a procedure called endovascular stent-graft (ESG) placement, is a new alternative to the traditional surgical approach. It is less invasive, and initial results from several studies suggest that it may reduce mortality and morbidity associated with the repair of descending TAAs.
The goal in endovascular repair is to exclude the aneurysm from the systemic circulation and prevent it from rupturing, which is life-threatening. The endovascular placement of a stent graft eliminates the systemic pressure acting on the weakened wall of the aneurysm that may lead to the rupture. However, ESG placement has some specific complications, including endovascular leak (endoleak), graft migration, stent fracture, and mechanical damage to the access artery and aortic wall.
The Talent stent graft (manufactured by Medtronic Inc., Minneapolis, MN) is licensed in Canada for the treatment of patients with TAA (Class 4; licence 36552). The design of this device has evolved since its clinical introduction. The current version has a more flexible delivery catheter than did the original system. The prosthesis is composed of nitinol stents between thin layers of polyester graft material. Each stent is secured with oversewn sutures to prevent migration.
Review Strategy
To compare the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of ESG placement in the treatment of TAAs with a conventional surgical approach
To summarize the safety profile and effectiveness of ESG placement in the treatment of descending TAAs
Measures of Effectiveness
Primary Outcome
Mortality rates (30-day and longer term)
Secondary Outcomes
Technical success rate of introducing a stent graft and exclusion of the aneurysm sac from systemic circulation
Rate of reintervention (through surgical or endovascular approach)
Measures of Safety
Complications were categorized into 2 classes:
Those specific to the ESG procedure, including rates of aneurysm rupture, endoleak, graft migration, stent fracture, and kinking; and
Those due to the intervention, either surgical or endovascular. These include paraplegia, stroke, cardiovascular events, respiratory failure, real insufficiency, and intestinal ischemia.
Inclusion Criteria
Studies comparing the clinical outcomes of ESG treatment with surgical approaches
Studies reporting on the safety and effectiveness of the ESG procedure for the treatment of descending TAAs
Exclusion Criteria
Studies investigating the clinical effectiveness of ESG placement for other conditions such as aortic dissection, aortic ulcer, and traumatic injuries of the thoracic aorta
Studies investigating the aneurysms of the ascending and the arch of the aorta
Studies using custom-made grafts
Literature Search
The Medical Advisory Secretariat searched The International Network of Agencies for Health Technology Assessment and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews for health technology assessments. It also searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, Medline In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations, and Cochrane CENTRAL from January 1, 2000 to July 11, 2005 for studies on ESG procedures. The search was limited to English-language articles and human studies.
One health technology assessment from the United Kingdom was identified. This systematic review included all pathologies of the thoracic aorta; therefore, it did not match the inclusion criteria. The search yielded 435 citations; of these, 9 studies met inclusion criteria.
Summary of Findings
The results of a comparative study found that in-hospital mortality was not significantly different between ESG placement and surgery patients (2 [4.8%] for ESG vs. 6 [11.3%] for surgery).
Pooled data from case series with a mean follow-up ranging from 12 to 38 months showed a 30-day mortality and late mortality rate of 3.9% and 5.5%, respectively. These rates are lower than are those reported in the literature for surgical repair of TAA.
Case series showed that the most common cause of early death in patients undergoing endovascular repair is aortic rupture, and the most common causes of late death are cardiac events and aortoesophageal or aortobronchial fistula.
Technical Success Rate
Technical success rates reported by case series are 55% to 100% (100% and 94.4% in 2 studies with all elective cases, 89% in a study with 5% emergent cases, and 55% in a study with 42% emergent cases).
Surgical Reintervention
In the comparative study, 3 (7.1%) patients in the ESG group and 14 (26.5%) patients in the surgery group required surgical reintervention. In the ESG group, the reasons for surgical intervention were postoperative bleeding at the access site, paraplegia, and type 1 endoleak. In the surgical group, the reasons for surgery were duodenal perforation, persistent thoracic duct leakage, false aneurysm, and 11 cases of postoperative bleeding.
Pooled data from case series show that 9 (2.6%) patients required surgical intervention. The reasons for surgical intervention were endoleak (3 cases), aneurysm enlargement and suspected infection (1 case), aortic dissection (1 case), pseudoaneurysm of common femoral artery (1 case), evacuation of hematoma (1 case), graft migration (1 case), and injury to the access site (1 case).
Endovascular Revision
In the comparative study, 3 (7.1%) patients required endovascular revision due to persistent endoleak.
Pooled data from case series show that 19 (5.3%) patients required endovascular revision due to persistent endoleak.
Graft Migration
Two case series reported graft migration. In one study, 3 proximal and 4 component migrations were noted at 2-year follow-up (total of 5%). Another study reported 1 (3.7%) case of graft migration. Overall, the incidence of graft migration was 2.6%.
Aortic Rupture
In the comparative study, aortic rupture due to bare stent occurred in 1 case (2%). The pooled incidence of aortic rupture or dissection reported by case series was 1.4%.
Postprocedural Complications
In the comparative study, there were no statistically significant differences between the ESG and surgery groups in postprocedural complications, except for pneumonia. The rate of pneumonia was 9% for those who received an ESG and 28% for those who had surgery (P = .02). There were no cases of paraplegia in either group. The rate of other complications for ESG and surgery including stroke, cardiac, respiratory, and intestinal ischemia were all 5.1% for ESG placement and 10% for surgery. The rate for mild renal failure was 16% in the ESG group and 30% in the surgery group. The rate for severe renal failure was 11% for ESG placement and 10% for surgery.
Pooled data from case series show the following postprocedural complication rates in the ESG placement group: paraplegia (2.2%), stroke (3.9%), cardiac (2.9%), respiratory (8.7%), renal failure (2.8%), and intestinal ischemia (1%).
Time-Related Outcomes
The results of the comparative study show statistically significant differences between the ESG and surgery group for mean operative time (ESG, 2.7 hours; surgery, 5 hours), mean duration of intensive care unit stay (ESG, 11 days; surgery, 14 days), and mean length of hospital stay (ESG, 10 days; surgery, 30 days).
The mean duration of intensive care unit stay and hospital stay derived from case series is 1.6 and 7.8 days, respectively.
Ontario-Based Economic Analysis
In Ontario, the annual treatment figures for fiscal year 2004 include 17 cases of descending TAA repair procedures (source: Provincial Health Planning Database). Fourteen of these have been identified as “not ruptured” with a mean hospital length of stay of 9.23 days, and 3 cases have been identified as “ruptured,” with a mean hospital length of stay of 28 days. However, because one Canadian Classification of Health Interventions code was used for both procedures, it is not possible to determine how many were repaired with an EVAR procedure or with an open surgical procedure.
Hospitalization Costs
The current fiscal year forecast of in-hospital direct treatment costs for all in-province procedures of repair of descending TAAs is about $560,000 (Cdn). The forecast in-hospital total cost per year for in-province procedures is about $720,000 (Cdn). These costs include the device cost when the procedure is EVAR (source: Ontario Case Costing Initiative).
Professional (Ontario Health Insurance Plan) Costs
Professional costs per treated patient were calculated and include 2 preoperative thoracic surgery or EVAR consultations.
The professional costs of an EVAR include the fees paid to the surgeons, anesthetist, and surgical assistant (source: fee service codes). The procedure was calculated to take about 150 minutes.
The professional costs of an open surgical repair include the fees of the surgeon, anesthetist, and surgical assistant. Open surgical repair was estimated to take about 300 minutes.
Services provided by professionals in intensive care units were also taken into consideration, as were the costs of 2 postoperative consultations that the patients receive on average once they are discharged from the hospital. Therefore, total Ontario Health Insurance Plan costs per treated patient treated with EVAR are on average $2,956 (ruptured or not ruptured), as opposed to $5,824 for open surgical repair and $6,157 for open surgical repair when the aneurysm is ruptured.
Endovascular stent graft placement is a less invasive procedure for repair of TAA than is open surgical repair.
There is no high-quality evidence with long-term follow-up data to support the use of EVAR as the first choice of treatment for patients with TAA that are suitable candidates for surgical intervention.
However, short- and medium-term outcomes of ESG placement reported by several studies are satisfactory and comparable to surgical intervention; therefore, for patients at high risk of surgery, it is a practical option to consider. Short- and medium-term results show that the benefit of ESG placement over the surgical approach is a lower 30-day mortality and paraplegia rate; and shorter operative time, ICU stay, and hospital stay.
PMCID: PMC3382300  PMID: 23074469
5.  Aorto-enteric fistula development secondary to mycotic abdominal aortic aneurysm following intravesical bacillus Calmette–Guerin (BCG) treatment for transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder 
Intravesical BCG-instillation for bladder cancer is considered safe but is not without risk. While most side-effects are localised and self-limiting, the development of secondary vascular pathology is a rare but significant complication.
A 77-year-old male presented with a mycotic abdominal aortic aneurysm and associated aorto-enteric fistula 18 months after receiving intravesical BCG-instillations for early stage transitional cell carcinoma.
Response rates to intravesical BCG for early stage transitional cell carcinoma are high. The procedure produces a localised inflammatory response in the bladder but the exact mechanism of action is unclear. The treatment is generally well tolerated but BCG-sepsis and secondary vascular complications have been documented.
Mycotic abdominal aortic aneurysm with associated aorto-enteric fistula secondary to BCG is very rare. Few examples have been documented internationally and the extent of corresponding research and associated management proposals is limited.
Surgical options include in situ repair with prosthetic graft, debridement with extra-anatomical bypass and, occasionally, endovascular stent grafting. Recommended medical therapy for systemic BCG infection is Isoniazid, Rifampicin and Ethambutol.
Current screening methods must be updated with clarification regarding duration of anti-tuberculous therapy and impact of concomitant anti-tuberculous medication on the therapeutic action of intravesical BCG. Long-term outcomes for patients post graft repair for mycotic aneurysm are unknown and more research is required regarding the susceptibility of vascular grafts to mycobacterial infection.
Recognition of the risks associated with BCG-instillations, even in immunocompetent subjects, is paramount and must be considered even several months or years after receiving the therapy.
PMCID: PMC3537938  PMID: 23127864
BCG; Aortic aneurysm; Aorto-enteric fistula; Bladder carcinoma
6.  Tuberculous Aneurysm of the Abdominal Aorta: Endovascular Repair Using Stent Grafts in Two Cases 
Korean Journal of Radiology  2000;1(4):215-218.
Tuberculous aneurysm of the aorta is exceedingly rare. To date, the standard therapy for mycotic aneurysm of the abdominal aorta has been surgery involving in-situ graft placement or extra-anatomic bypass surgery followed by effective anti-tuberculous medication. Only recently has the use of a stent graft in the treatment of tuberculous aortic aneurysm been described in the literature. We report two cases in which a tuberculous aneurysm of the abdominal aorta was successfully repaired using endovascular stent grafts. One case involved is a 42-year-old woman with a large suprarenal abdominal aortic aneurysm and a right psoas abscess, and the other, a 41-year-old man in whom an abdominal aortic aneurysm ruptured during surgical drainage of a psoas abscess.
PMCID: PMC2718204  PMID: 11752958
Aorta, disease; Aorta, aneurysm; Aorta, grafts and prostheses
7.  Repair of ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms with bifurcated endografts: a single-center study 
Clinics  2014;69(6):420-425.
The aim of this study was to describe our early experience in the treatment of ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms with bifurcated endografts. We report on our initial twelve-month experience using this approach.
Clinical data on patients with ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms treated at a single tertiary center in Brazil were prospectively recorded. The eligibility for endovascular treatment was evaluated by computed tomography scanning and anatomical features were determined based on the method of treatment.
From February 2012 to January 2013 (12 months), 28 consecutive patients (mean age 67.2 years, range 45-85 years) underwent treatment for ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms at our hospital. Eighteen patients (64.3%) were suitable for and underwent endovascular treatment with bifurcated endografts (16 patients) or aortouniiliac endografts (two patients). Ten patients who were considered unsuitable for endograft repair underwent open repair. Seven patients were classified as hemodynamically unstable (Endovascular, 5; Open, 2), and 21 were classified as stable (Endovascular, 13; Open, 8). The overall 30-day mortality rate associated with endovascular treatment was 27.8% (stable, 18.7%; unstable, 40%) and the rate associated with open repair was 50% (stable, 37.5%; unstable, 100%).
In this study, the suitability of patients for endovascular repair of ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms was high and the overall results of endovascular treatment remain encouraging. Indeed, bifurcated endografts are a feasible option for treating anatomically eligible ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms.
PMCID: PMC4050328  PMID: 24964307
Aortic Aneurysms; Aneurysm Rupture; Endovascular Repair
8.  Fenestrated Endovascular Grafts for the Repair of Juxtarenal Aortic Aneurysms 
Executive Summary
Endovascular repair of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) allows the exclusion of the dilated aneurismal segment of the aorta from the systematic circulation. The procedure requires, however, that the endograft extends to the healthy parts of the aorta above and below the aneurysm, yet the neck of a juxtarenal aortic aneurysm (JRA) is too short for a standard endovascular repair. Fenestrated endovascular aortic repair (f—EVAR) provides a solution to overcome this problem by enabling the continuation of blood flow to the renal and visceral arteries through holes or ‘fenestrations’ in the graft. These fenestrations are designed to match the ostial diameter of the renal and visceral arteries.
There are three varieties fenestration, small, large, and scallop, and their location needs to be customized to fit the anatomy of the patient. If the device is not properly designed, if the alignment is inaccurate, or if the catheterization of the visceral arteries is not possible, the procedure may fail. In such cases, conversion to open surgery may become the only option as fenestrated endografts are not retrievable.
It is recommended that a stent be placed within each small fenestration to the target artery to prevent shuttering of the artery or occlusion. Many authors have noted an increased risk of vessel occlusion in unstented fenestrations and scallops.
Once placed in a patient, life-long follow-up at regular intervals is necessary to ensure the graft remains in its intended location, and that the components have adequate overlap. Should the need arise, routine follow-up allows the performance of timely and appropriate intervention through detection of events that could impact the long-term outcomes.
Alternative Technology
The technique of fenestrated endovascular grafting is still in evolution and few studies have been with published mid-term outcome data. As the technique become more common in vascular surgery practices, it will be important to determine if it can provide better outcomes than open surgical repair (OSR).
In an OSR approach, aortic clamping above one or both renal arteries, or above the visceral arteries, is required. The higher the level of aortic clamping, the greater the risk of cardiac stress and renal or visceral ischemia. During suprarenal or supraceliac aortic clamping, strain-induced myocardial ischemia may also occur due to concomitant rise in cardiac afterload and a decrease in cardiac output. Reports indicate that 6% of patients undergoing surgical repair develop myocardial infarction. The ideal level of clamp location remains controversial with conflicting views having been reported.
A search of electronic databases (OVID MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations, EMBASE, The Cochrane Library, and the International Agency for Health Technology Assessment [INAHTA] database was undertaken to identify evidence published from January 1, 2004 to December 19, 2008. The search was limited to English-language articles and human studies. The automatic search alerts were received and reviewed up to March 23, 2009.
The literature search and automatic search update identified 320 citations, of which 13 met inclusion/exclusion criteria. One comparative study presented at an international seminar, five single-arm studies on f—EVAR, and 7 studies on OSR (one prospective and six retrospective) were considered for this analysis.
To grade the strength of the body of evidence, the grading system formulated by the GRADE working group and adopted by MAS, was applied. The GRADE system classifies evidence quality as high (Grade A), moderate (Grade B), or low (Grade C) according to four key elements: study design, study quality, consistency across studies, and directness.
A summary of the characteristics of the f—EVAR and OSR studies found through the literature search is shown in Table ES-1.
Patient Characteristics: f–EVAR Studies versus OSR Studies
JRA, Juxtarenal aortic aneurysm; SRA, Suprarenal aortic aneurysm; TAA, Thoracic aortic aneurysm
Mortality Outcomes
The pooled estimate for 30-day mortality was 1.8% among the f—EVAR studies and 3.1% among the OSR studies that reported data for the repair of JRA separately. The pooled estimate for late mortality was 12.8% among the f—EVAR studies and 23.7% among the OSR studies that reported data for JRA separately.
Visceral Artery Events Reported in f—EVAR Studies
Renal Events during f-EVAR
A total of three main renal arteries and two accessory renal arteries became occluded during the procedure. These were all due to technical issues, except one accessory renal artery in which the artery was intentionally covered. One patient required open surgery following the procedure.
Renal Events During the follow-up
A total of 12 renal arteries (12 patients) were found to be occluded during follow-up. In two patients, the same side accessory renal artery was also occluded. Four (1.5%) patients lost one kidney and five (2.3%) patients underwent dialysis, three (1.4%) of which became permanent.
A total of 16 cases of renal artery stenosis (16 patients) occurred during follow-up. Eight of these were treated and eight were observed. Segmental renal infarcts were found in six patients but renal function was not impaired.
Mesenteric Events during f-EVAR
Three mesenteric events occurred during the f—EVAR procedures resulting in two deaths. One patient developed bowel ischemia due to embolization of the superior mesenteric artery (SMA); this patient died 13 days after the procedure from multiorgan failure. One patient died eights days after the procedure from mesenteric ischemia and bowel perforation. The third SMA event occurred during surgery with subsequent occlusion in early follow-up.
Mesenteric Events during Follow-up
During follow-up, five (1.8%) SMA occlusions/partial occlusions and one SMA stenosis were noted. Three of the five patients with SMA occlusion/partial occlusion remained asymptomatic and no further intervention was necessary. One patient underwent SMA bypass surgery and in two patients, the problem solved by SMA stenting. A summary of the outcomes reported in the f—EVAR and OSR studies is shown in Table ES-2.
Summary of Outcomes: Fenestrated Endovascular Graft Versus Open Surgical Repair for Treatment of Juxtarenal Aortic Aneurysm
Short- and medium-term results (up to 2 years) of f—EVAR for the repair of JRA showed that outcomes in f—EVAR series compare favourably with the figures for the OSR series; however, uncertainty remains regarding the long-term results. The following observations are based on low quality evidence.
F—EVAR has lower 30-day mortality than OSR (1.8% vs. 3.1%) and a lower late-mortality over the period of time that patients have been followed (12.8% vs. 23.7%).
There is a potential for the loss of target vessels during or after f—EVAR procedures. Loss of a target vessel may lead to loss of its respective end organ. The risk associated with this technique is mainly due to branch vessel ischemia or occlusion (primarily among the renal arteries and SMA). Ischemia or occlusion of these arteries can occur during surgery due to technical failure and/or embolization or it may occur during follow-up due to graft complications such as graft migration, component separation, or arterial thrombosis. The risk of kidney loss in this series of f—EVAR studies was 1.5% and the risk of mesenteric ischemia was 3.3%. In the OSR studies, the risk of developing renal insufficiency was 14.4% and the risk of mesenteric ischemia was 2.9%.
F—EVAR has a lower rate of postoperative cardiac and pulmonary complications.
Endoleak occurs in 22.5% of patients undergoing f—EVAR (all types) and about 8% of these require treatment. Most of the interventions performed to treat such endoleaks conducted using a minimally invasive approach.
Due to the complexity of the technique, patients must be appropriately selected for f—EVAR, the procedure performed by highly experienced operators, and in centers with advanced, high-resolution imaging systems to minimize the risk of complications.
Graft fenestrations have to be custom designed for each patient to fit and match the anatomy of their visceral arteries. Planning and sizing thus requires scrutiny of the target vessels with a high degree precision. This is important not only to prevent end organ ischemia and infarction, but to avoid prolonging procedures and subsequent adverse outcomes.
Assuming the average cost range of FEVAR procedure is $24,395-$30,070 as per hospital data and assuming the maximum number of annual cases in Ontario is 116, the average estimated cost impact range to the province for FEVAR procedures is $2.83M-$3.49M annually.
PMCID: PMC3377528  PMID: 23074534
9.  Secondary aortoduodenal fistula following endovascular repair of inflammatory abdominal aortic aneurysm due to Streptococcus anginosus infection: A case report and literature review☆ 
Aortoenteric fistula is a rare but very serious complication of both surgical and endovascular abdominal aortic reconstruction. Since the advent of endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm repair (EVAR), 20 cases of aortoduodenal fistula associated with aortic stent grafts have been reported.1 However, only a handful has been reported following inflammatory abdominal aortic aneurysm repair. It most commonly presents with bleeding, usually from the upper gastro-intestinal tract. With recent advances in the screening, diagnosis and management of abdominal aortic aneurysms either surgically or through an endovascular approach, the diagnosis of an aortoduodenal fistula in patients with gastro-intestinal bleeding must be suspected and excluded.
We describe a case of secondary aortoduodenal fistula that occurred two and a half years following endovascular stent graft repair of an inflammatory abdominal aortic aneurysm. We also outline the emergency correction plan and the attempts at repair.
This case defies the general concept that patients with inflammatory abdominal aortic aneurysms are relatively immune to rupture. Although the presence of a peri-aneurysm thick inflammatory membrane decreases the possibility of rupture, these patients are more susceptible to other related complications such as aorto-enteric and aorto-caval fistulas.2 This case also demonstrates the peculiar presence of Streptococcus anginosus as the pathological organism leading to graft infection and subsequent fistula, as opposed to enterococci which are often found in endograft infection.
Aorto-enteric fistulas are associated with a grave prognosis. Early diagnosis is crucial and extra vigilance should be taken in cases of inflammatory AAA.
PMCID: PMC4189064  PMID: 25201477
10.  Endovascular Exclusion of a Thoracoabdominal Aortic Aneurysm after Retrograde Visceral Artery Revascularization 
Texas Heart Institute Journal  2005;32(3):416-420.
Historically, open surgical repair of thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms has been associated with high morbidity and mortality rates. Furthermore, endovascular exclusion alone can restrict blood flow to visceral arteries. We report a case of thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm that was repaired using a hybrid approach: surgery followed by an endovascular procedure. A 53-year-old woman was admitted to our hospital for endovascular exclusion of a thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm that included the superior mesenteric artery and the celiac artery. Aorto–mesenteric and aorto–celiac artery bypass grafting was performed to create a landing zone for subsequent endovascular exclusion of the aneurysm, which was completed successfully 6 weeks after the bypass procedure.
For thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms that extend beyond the superior mesenteric artery and the celiac or renal arteries, a hybrid approach, consisting of limited surgical treatment followed by endovascular exclusion of the aneurysm, may yield optimal results in selected patients with serious preoperative comorbidities.
PMCID: PMC1336723  PMID: 16392233
Aortic aneurysm, abdominal; aortic aneurysm, thoracic; blood vessel prosthesis implantation; stents
11.  Staged total abdominal debranching and thoracic endovascular aortic repair for thoracoabdominal aneurysm 
Journal of vascular surgery  2012;56(3):621-629.
Thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms (TAAAs) occur most commonly in elderly individuals, who are often suboptimal candidates for open repair because of significant comorbidities. The availability of a hybrid option, including open visceral debranching with endovascular aneurysm exclusion, may have advantages in these patients who are at high-risk for conventional repair. This report details the evolution of our technique and results with complete visceral debranching and endovascular aneurysm exclusion for TAAA repair in high-risk patients.
Between March 2005 and June 2011, 47 patients (51% women) underwent extra-anatomic debranching of all visceral vessels, followed by aneurysm exclusion by endovascular means at a single institution. A median of four visceral vessels were bypassed. The debranching procedure was initially performed through a partial right medial visceral rotation approach, leaving the left kidney posterior in the first 22 patients, and in the last 25 by a direct anterior approach to the visceral vessels. The debranching and endovascular portions of the procedure were performed in a single operation in the initial 33 patients and as a staged procedure during a single hospital stay in the most recent 14.
Median patient age was 71.0 ± 9.8 years. All had significant comorbidity and were considered suboptimal candidates for conventional repair: 55% had undergone previous aortic surgery, 40% were American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) class 4, and baseline serum creatinine was 1.5 ± 1.3 mg/dL. The 30-day/in-hospital rates of death, stroke, and permanent paraparesis/plegia were 8.5%, 0%, and 4.3%, respectively, but 0% in the most recent 14 patients undergoing staged repair. These patients had significantly shorter combined operative times (314 vs 373 minutes), decreased intraoperative red blood cell transfusions (350 vs 1400 mL), and were more likely to be extubated in the operating room (50% vs 12%) compared with patients undergoing simultaneous repair. Over a median follow-up of 19.3 ± 18.5 months, visceral graft patency was 97%; all occluded limbs were to renal vessels and clinically silent. There have been no type I or III endoleaks or reinterventions. Kaplan-Meier overall survival is 70.7% at 2 years and 57.9% at 5 years.
Hybrid TAAA repair through complete visceral debranching and endovascular aneurysm exclusion is a good option for elderly high-risk patients less suited to conventional repair in centers with the requisite surgical expertise with visceral revascularization. A staged approach to debranching and endovascular aneurysm exclusion during a single hospitalization appears to yield optimal results.
PMCID: PMC4089876  PMID: 22575483
12.  An infected enlarging abdominal aortic aneurysm after acute cholecystitis☆ 
An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) infection is rare and can be difficult to manage, with high morbidity and mortality. We present a patient who suffered an infected AAA after undergoing a laparoscopic cholecystectomy and discuss the surgical management options.
A 69-year-old male presents with a rapidly enlarging AAA 4 weeks following laparoscopic cholecystectomy. He was managed with open debridement, washout and repair of the aneurysm, but suffered ongoing sequelae of Escherichia coli sepsis.
The options for surgical management of infected AAA include open, endovascular and combined approaches. Recent papers report successful use of endovascular repair of infected AAAs but this is an ongoing area of research.
Infection of an AAA is associated with high mortality and long-term morbidity and requires optimal treatment. Surgical options include open debridement and repair, endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) or a combined approach.
PMCID: PMC4008856  PMID: 24705192
Abdominal aortic aneurysm; Infection; Cholecystitis
13.  Successful Treatment of a Ruptured Aortic Arch Aneurysm Using a Hybrid Procedure 
Korean Circulation Journal  2011;41(8):469-473.
Aortic rupture has a high mortality rate and can be considered a medical emergency. The standard treatment for aortic rupture is surgical repair. An aortic stent graft for a ruptured descending aorta is considered an effective alternative treatment. However, an aortic stent graft is difficult when the aortic aneurysm is in the aortic arch due to supra-aortic vessels. We report on a patient with a ruptured aortic arch aneurysm treated with a hybrid procedure, which involved a carotid to carotid bypass operation and an aortic stent graft. A 71-year-old male patient visited our cardiovascular center suffering from hemoptysis. The chest CT and aortography showed a 9 cm sized aortic arch aneurysm 0.5 cm distal to the left subclavian artery and a hemothorax in the left lung. The patient refused to undergo a full open operation. We performed a carotid to carotid bypass in advance, and two pieces of aortic stent grafts were placed across the left carotid artery and left subclavian artery. The follow up CT showed the aortic stent grafts, no endoleaks and no thrombus in the aortic arch aneurysm. The patient was discharged from the hospital without complication.
PMCID: PMC3173668  PMID: 21949532
Aorta, thoracic; Aortic rupture; Stents
14.  Surgical approach for the treatment of aortoesophageal fistula combined with dual aortic aneurysms: a case report 
Aortoesophageal fistula is a rare disease with a high mortality rate. The disease is with high mortality due to aneurysm rupture, and thus successfully managed cases are rarely reported. Here, we report a case of aortoesophageal fistula caused by a huge descending aneurysm and another smaller aneurysm found in the aortic arch. Such case was relatively rare in the cardiovascular field. Due to the limited experience, it was difficult to determine the proper therapeutic strategy. For this case, for the dual aneurysm, we surgically inserted an aortic endovascular stent-graft to exclusive the aneurysm and simultaneously repair the other aortic arch aneurysm. The patient had an uneventful recovery and was discharged after 1 month antibiotics therapy for the palliative treatment of the esophageal fistula. She survived for 8 months at home before dying of massive hematemesis. Here, we present the operative method and our therapeutic experience for this extremely rare case.
PMCID: PMC4228427  PMID: 24180498
Aortoesophageal fistula (AEF); Thoracic aortic aneurysm; Stent graft
15.  Thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm: hybrid repair outcomes 
Annals of Cardiothoracic Surgery  2012;1(3):311-319.
Thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms (TAAA) remain amongst the most formidable of surgical challenges, particularly degenerative aneurysms in the elderly population with concomitant pulmonary disease. This report presents an update of our robust single-institution experience with “hybrid” TAAA repair including complete visceral debranching and endovascular aneurysm exclusion in high-risk patients.
Between March 2005 and June 2012, 58 patients underwent extra-anatomic debranching of all visceral vessels followed by aneurysm exclusion via endovascular means at a single institution. The median number of visceral vessels bypassed was 4. The debranching and endovascular portions of the procedure were performed as a single stage in the initial 33 patients and as a staged approach in the most recent n=25 cases.
Median patient age was 69.0 years; 50% were female. All had significant co-morbidity and were considered suboptimal candidates for conventional open surgical repair. Mean aortic diameter was 6.7¡À1.2 cm. Thirty-day/in-hospital rates of death, stroke, and permanent paraparesis/paraplegia were 9%, 0%, and 4%, respectively; in the most recent 25 patients undergoing staged repair these rates were 4%, 0%, and 0%. Over a mean follow-up of 26¡À21 months, visceral graft patency is 95.3%; all occluded limbs were to renal vessels and none resulted in permanent dialysis. Two patients (3%) have required re-intervention, one for type Ib and one for type III endoleak. Five-year freedom from re-intervention was 94%. Kaplan-Meier overall survival was 78% at 1 year and 62% at 5 years, with a 5-year aorta-specific survival of 87%.
These updated results continue to support hybrid TAAA repair via complete visceral debranching and endovascular aneurysm exclusion as a good option for elderly high-risk patients less suited to conventional open repair. A staged approach to debranching and endovascular aneurysm exclusion appears to yield optimal results.
PMCID: PMC3741781  PMID: 23977513
Thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms (TAAA); pulmonary disease; endovascular aneurysm
16.  Emergent Repair of a Complex Dissecting Aneurysm in the Thoracic Aorta 
Texas Heart Institute Journal  2012;39(5):687-691.
Endovascular treatment of complex thoracic pathologic conditions involving the aortic arch can often be appropriate and safe; however, minimally invasive procedures are not always feasible, especially in emergent cases. We report the case of a 78-year-old woman who emergently presented in hemorrhagic shock with a ruptured chronic dissecting aneurysm that involved the aortic arch. Eight years earlier, she had undergone aortic valve replacement and plication of the ascending aorta, which was complicated a day later by Stanford type B dissection, malperfusion, and ischemia that required an axillobifemoral bypass. At the current admission, we successfully treated her surgically through a left thoracotomy, using moderate hypothermic extracorporeal circulation and advanced organ-protection methods. We discuss the surgical indications and our operative strategy in relation to open surgical repair versus endovascular treatment in patients with complex conditions.
PMCID: PMC3461696  PMID: 23109769
Aneurysm, dissecting/radiography/surgery; aortic aneurysm, thoracic/radiography/surgery; aortic diseases/surgery; aortic rupture/surgery; treatment outcome; vascular surgical procedures
17.  Awake, Percutaneous Repair of a Ruptured Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm 
The Ochsner Journal  2013;13(2):248-251.
The rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm is a highly lethal event, claiming approximately 15,000 lives each year. Traditionally, open surgical repair has been the mainstay for treatment. However, this surgery is associated with almost a 50% perioperative mortality rate. Minimally invasive endovascular stent grafts have been used with great success in the elective repair of aortic aneurysms. This technology has subsequently been applied to the repair of ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms with a substantial reduction in the periprocedural death rate and associated complications.
Case Report
We report a case of a patient with a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm and an acute ST elevation myocardial infarction who was treated with an endovascular stent graft in a totally percutaneous fashion using only conscious sedation and local anesthesia.
Although the risk of mortality and complications remains high, endovascular repair of a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm offers the patient the best chance of survival.
PMCID: PMC3684334  PMID: 23789011
Aortic aneurysm–abdominal; endovascular procedures
18.  Technical Challenges in Endovascular Repair of Complex Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms 
Annals of Vascular Diseases  2012;5(1):21-29.
Background: Endovascular aneurysm repair has gained widespread acceptance, and there has been a significant increase in the number of aneurysms treated with stent grafts. However, the endovascular technique alone is often not appropriate for anatomically complex aneurysms involving the neck branches. We used the TAG stent for thoracic aortic aneurysms (TAA), and report our initial results.
Patients and Results: We deployed 80 TAG stents in 65 patients electively treated with TAA between June 2006 and June 2008. Thoracic endovascular aneurysm repair (TEVAR) was performed in 45 cases of descending aortic aneurysm with no morbidity or mortality. A combination of open surgery and TEVAR was performed in 11 out of 20 cases with aneurysms of the aortic arch. The prior total arch replacement and elephant trunk procedure was performed in 3 cases with dilated ascending aorta, total debranching from ascending aorta with sternotomy in 5, and carotid-carotid artery crossover bypass in 3 cases. Meanwhile, TEVAR with coverage of the left subclavian artery was performed in the remaining 9 distal arch cases. In 3 cases with extremely short necks, a 0.018” guide wire was inserted percutaneously in a retrograde manner through the common carotid artery (CCA) into the ascending aorta to place the stent graft in close proximity to the CCA (wire protection). In 1 of these 3 cases, the TAG stent was deployed through the CCA, and the 0.018” guide wire was used to deliver a balloon-expandable stent in order to restore the patency of the CCA. In arch and distal arch aneurysm cases, perioperative mortality and the incidence of stroke were both 5.0%; dissection of the ascending aorta was seen in one case (5.0%).
Conclusion: As treatment for descending aortic aneurysms, TEVAR can replace conventional open repair. However, TEVAR for arch aneurysms has some problems, and further improvement is necessary. (English Translation of Jpn J Vasc Surg 2010; 19: 547-555.)
PMCID: PMC3595906  PMID: 23555482
Keywordsthoracic aortic aneurysm; endovascular surgery; stent graft
19.  Aortic emergencies—diagnosis and treatment: a pictorial review 
Insights into Imaging  2015;6(1):17-32.
To demonstrate the various presentations of acute aortic pathology and to present diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.
Diagnostic imaging is the key to the reliable diagnosis of acute aortic pathology with multi-slice computed tomography angiography (CTA) as the fastest and most robust modality. Endovascular aortic repair (EVAR) with stent grafts and open surgical repair are therapeutic approaches for aortic pathology.
CTA is reliable in diagnosing and grading aortic trauma, measuring aortic diameter in aortic aneurysms and detecting vascular wall pathology in acute aortic syndrome and aortic inflammation. CTA enables planning the optimal therapeutic approach. Stent graft implantation and/or an open surgical approach can address vascular wall pathology and exclude aortic aneurysms.
Aortic emergencies have to be detected quickly. CTA is the imaging method of choice and helps to decide whether elective, urgent or emergent treatment is necessary with EVAR and open surgical repair as the main treatment approaches.
Teaching Points
• To present aortic pathology caused by trauma
• To present acute aortic syndrome (aortic dissection, intramural haematoma and penetrating ulcers)
• To present symptomatic and ruptured aortic aneurysm
• To present infection (mycotic aneurysms/aorto-duodenal fistulae) or iatrogenic injury of the aorta
• To understand different presentations for treatment planning (EVAR and open surgery)
PMCID: PMC4330229  PMID: 25638646
Aortic pathology; Aortic Dissection; Aortic Aneurysm; Diagnostic imaging; Endovascular aortic repair (EVAR)
20.  Ultrasound Screening for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm 
Executive Summary
The aim of this review was to assess the effectiveness of ultrasound screening for asymptomatic abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA).
Clinical Need
Abdominal aortic aneurysm is a localized abnormal dilatation of the aorta greater than 3 cm. In community surveys, the prevalence of AAA is reported to be between 2% and 5.4%. Abdominal aortic aneurysms are found in 4% to 8% of older men and in 0.5% to 1.5% of women aged 65 years and older. Abdominal aortic aneurysms are largely asymptomatic. If left untreated, the continuing extension and thinning of the vessel wall may eventually result in rupture of the AAA. Often rupture may occur without warning, causing acute pain. Rupture is always life threatening and requires emergency surgical repair of the ruptured aorta. The risk of death from ruptured AAA is 80% to 90%. Over one-half of all deaths attributed to a ruptured aneurysm take place before the patient reaches hospital. In comparison, the rate of death in people undergoing elective surgery is 5% to 7%; however, symptoms of AAA rarely occur before rupture. Given that ultrasound can reliably visualize the aorta in 99% of the population, and its sensitivity and specificity for diagnosing AAA approaches 100%, screening for aneurysms is worth considering as it may reduce the incidence of ruptured aneurysms and hence reduce unnecessary deaths caused by AAA-attributable mortality.
Review Strategy
The Medical Advisory Secretariat used its standard search strategy to retrieve international health technology assessments and English-language journal articles from selected databases to determine the effectiveness of ultrasound screening for abdominal aortic aneurysms. Case reports, letters, editorials, nonsystematic reviews, non-human studies, and comments were excluded.
Questions asked:
Is population-based AAA screening effective in improving health outcomes in asymptomatic populations?
Is AAA screening acceptable to the population? Does this affect the effectiveness the screening program?
How often should population-based screening occur?
What are appropriate treatment options after screening based on the size of aneurysms?
Are there differences between universal and targeted screening strategies?
What are the harms of screening?
Summary of Findings
Population-based ultrasound screening is effective in men aged 65 to 74 years, particularly in those with a history of smoking. Screening reduces the incidence of AAA ruptures, and decreases rates of emergency surgical repair for AAA and AAA-attributable mortality.
Acceptance rates decline with increasing age and are lower for women. Low acceptance rates may affect the effectiveness of a screening program.
A one-time screen is sufficient for a population-based screening program with regard to initial negative scans and development of large AAAs.
There is no difference between early elective surgical repair and surveillance for small aneurysms (4.0–5.4 cm). Repeated surveillance of small aneurysms is recommended.
Targeted screening based on history of smoking has been found to detect 89% of prevalent AAAs and increase the efficiency of screening programs from statistical modeling data.
Women have not been studied for AAA screening programs. There is evidence suggesting that screening women for AAA should be considered with respect to mortality and case fatality rates in Ontario. It is important that further evaluation of AAAs in women occur.
There is a small risk of physical harm from screening. Less than 1% of aneurysms will not be visualized on initial screen and a re-screen may be necessary; elective surgical repair is associated with a 6% operative morality rate and about 3% of small aneurysms may rupture during surveillance. These risks should be communicated through informed consent prior to screening.
There is little evidence of severe psychological harms associated with screening.
Based on this review, the Medical Advisory Secretariat concluded that there is sufficient evidence to determine that AAA screening using ultrasound is effective and reduces negative health outcomes associated with the condition.
Moreover, screening for AAA is cost-effective, comparing favorably for the cost of per life year gained for screening programs for cervical cancer, hypertension, and breast cancer that are in practice in Ontario, with a high degree of compliance, and can be undertaken with a minimal effort at fewer than 10 minutes to screen each patient.
Overall, the clinical utility of an invitation to use ultrasound screening to identify AAA in men aged 65 to 74 is effective at reducing AAA-attributable mortality. The benefit of screening women is not yet established. However, Ontario data indicate several areas of concern including population prevalence, detection of AAA in women, and case management of AAA in women in terms of age cutoffs for screening and natural history of disease associated with age of rupture.
PMCID: PMC3379169  PMID: 23074490
21.  Endovascular Exclusion of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms: Initial Experience with Stent-Grafts in Cardiology Practice 
Texas Heart Institute Journal  2000;27(2):136-145.
The use of an endovascular stent-graft prosthesis for the treatment of infrarenal abdominal aortic aneurysms is receiving increasing attention as an option that may avoid the significant morbidity and mortality associated with open surgical treatment. We studied the clinical effectiveness of stent-grafts in patients with infrarenal abdominal aortic aneurysms.
Between October 1995 and May 1998, 33 patients underwent infrarenal abdominal aortic aneurysm exclusion with a homemade polytetrafluoroethylene-covered stent, and between November 1998 and September 1999, 56 patients underwent abdominal aortic aneurysm exclusion with the Medtronic AneuRx stent-graft. Overall, these patients represented a high-risk surgical group. The technical success rate was 100% in both groups. No patient required immediate conversion to open repair. With the polytetrafluoroethy-lene-covered stent, the primary success rate was 33%, and the secondary success rate was 76%. In the AneuRx group, the primary success rate was 82.8%, and the secondary success rate was 85.3% at 6 months. There was no procedural or 1-month mortality or major morbidity in either group.
By showing that infrarenal abdominal aortic aneurysms can be treated safely and successfully with an endoluminal stent-graft, our early results provide additional support for the endovascular treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysms. Further follow-up studies will determine the long-term ability of such treatment to prevent aneurysmal rupture and death.
PMCID: PMC101048  PMID: 10928501
Aortic aneurysm, abdominal; blood vessel prosthesis implantation; clinical trials, phase III; prosthesis design; stents; treatment outcome
22.  Endovascular Treatment of a Noninfected Anastomotic Juxtarenal Aortic Aneurysm 
Texas Heart Institute Journal  2000;27(4):408-411.
An 82-year-old man underwent an endovascular procedure with a commercially available endovascular graft for an anastomotic juxtarenal abdominal aortic aneurysm. The anastomotic aneurysm, which showed no sign of infection, developed 4 years after implantation of an aortic end-to-end graft for an infrarenal aortic aneurysm.
The aneurysm was diagnosed during routine ultrasonographic follow-up; there was no apparent infection of the graft. Aortography confirmed the diagnosis and also revealed a small pseudoaneurysm at the level of the distal aortic anastomosis. Endovascular surgery was performed in the operating room with the guidance of C-arm fluoroscopy and intravascular ultrasound. Two Vanguard™ Straight Endovascular Aortic Graft Cuffs (26 × 50 mm and 24 × 50 mm) were implanted, successfully excluding both the anastomotic juxtarenal aortic aneurysm and the distal pseudoaneurysm. The renal arteries were preserved and no early or late endoleaks were observed.
The patient was discharged 2 days after the procedure. Sixteen months later, he was alive and well, with no endovascular leakage, no enlargement of the aortic aneurysms, and no sign of infection.
In our opinion, this experience shows that commercially available endovascular grafts may be used successfully to treat anastomotic aortic aneurysms and pseudoaneurysms.
PMCID: PMC101114  PMID: 11198318
Anastomosis, surgical/adverse effects; aortic aneurysm, abdominal/surgery; blood vessel prosthesis; postoperative complications/surgery; reoperation; vascular surgical procedures/methods
23.  Hybrid Endovascular Repair of Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm in a Patient with Behçet's Disease Following Right to Left Carotid-carotid Bypass Grafting 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2011;26(3):444-446.
Endovascular repair of inflammatory aortic aneurysms has been reported as an alternative to open surgical treatment. In selective cases, adjunctive bypass surgery may be required to provide an adequate landing zone. We report a case of endovascular repair of an inflammatory aortic aneurysm in a patient with Behçet's disease using a carotid-carotid bypass graft to provide an adequate landing zone. A 45-yr-old man with a voice change was referred to our hospital with the diagnosis of saccular aneurysm of the distal aortic arch resulting from vasculitis. Computed tomography showed a thoracic aortic aneurysm with thrombosis. Right to left carotid-carotid bypass grafting was performed. After 8 days, the patient underwent an endovascular stent graft placement distal to the origin of the innominate artery. The patient was discharged with medication and without postoperative complications after 5 days. Hybrid endovascular treatment may be suitable a complementary modality for repairing inflammatory aortic aneurysms.
PMCID: PMC3051095  PMID: 21394316
Endovascular Repair; Aortic Aneurysm; Inflammatory; Carotid-Carotid Bypass; Behçet Syndrome
24.  Ruptured Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm after Endovascular Aortic Aneurysm Repair 
In treating uncomplicated abdominal aortic aenurysm, endovascular aortic aneurysm repair (EVAR) has been employed as a good alternative to open repair with low perioperative morbidity and mortality. However, the aneurysm can enlarge or rupture even after EVAR as a result of device failure, endoleak, or graft migration. We experienced two cases of aneurismal rupture after EVAR, which were successfully treated by surgical extra-anatomic bypass.
PMCID: PMC3249277  PMID: 22263128
Aneurysm; Aorta, abdominal; Rupture; Endovascular surgery
25.  Endovascular aneurysm repair in emergent ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm with a ‘real’ hostile neck and severely tortuous iliac artery of an elderly patient 
BMC Surgery  2014;14:11.
Endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) has been a revolutionary development in the treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs). Meanwhile, unfavorable anatomy of the aneurysm has always been a challenge to vascular surgeons, and the application of EVAR in emergent and elderly patients are still in dispute.
Case presentation
A 79-year-old woman presented as an emergency of abdominal pain with acute hypotension, heart rate elevation and a rapid decrease of hemoglobin. Emergent computed tomographic angiography (CTA) showed a ruptured AAA (rAAA) extending from below the opening of bilateral renal arteries down to the celiac artery and elongated to both common iliac arteries. The hostile neck and severely tortuous iliac artery made the following procedure a great challenge. An emergent endovascular approach was performed in which an excluder aortic main body was deployed below the origin of the bilateral renal arteries covering the ruptured aortic segment. Two iliac legs were placed superior to the opening of the right hypogastric respectively. In order to avoid the type Ib endoleak, we tried to deploy another cuff above the bifurcation of the iliac artery. However, the severely tortuous right iliac artery made this procedure extremely difficult, and a balloon-assisted technique was used in order to keep the stiff wire stable. Another iliac leg was placed above the bifurcation of the left iliac artery. The following angiography showed a severe Ia endoleak in the proximal neck and therefore, a cuff was deployed distal to opening of the left renal artery with off-the-shelf solution. The patient had an uneventful recovery with a resolution of the rAAA. She is well and symptom-free 6 months later.
Endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) in emergent elderly rAAA with hostile neck and severe tortuous iliac artery is extremely challenging, and endovascular management with integrated technique is feasible and may achieve a satisfactory early result.
PMCID: PMC4016293  PMID: 24597740
Endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR); Ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm (rAAA); Hostile anatomy; Elderly patient

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