Regionalization of Emergent Vascular Surgery for Patients With Ruptured AAA Improves Outcomes

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Safe and efficient endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) for ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm (r-AAA) requires advanced infrastructure and surgical expertise not available at all US hospitals. The objective was to assess the impact of regionalizing r-AAA care to centers equipped for both open surgical repair (r-OSR) and EVAR (r-EVAR) by vascular surgeons.


A retrospective review of all patients with r-AAA undergoing open or endovascular repair in a 12-hospital region. Patient demographics, transfer status, type of repair, and intraoperative variables were recorded. Outcomes included perioperative morbidity and mortality.


Four hundred fifty-one patients with r-AAA were treated from 2002 to 2015. Three hundred twenty-one patients (71%) presented initially to community hospitals (CHs) and 130 (29%) presented to the tertiary medical center (MC). Of the 321 patients presenting to CH, 133 (41%) were treated locally (131 OSR; 2 EVAR) and 188 (59%) were transferred to the MC. In total, 318 patients were treated at the MC (122 OSR; 196 EVAR). At the MC, r-EVAR was associated with a lower mortality rate than r-OSR (20% vs 37%, P = 0.001). Transfer did not influence r-EVAR mortality (20% in r-EVAR presenting to MC vs 20% in r-EVAR transferred, P > 0.2). Overall, r-AAA mortality at the MC was 20% lower than CH (27% vs 46%, P < 0.001).


Regionalization of r-AAA repair to centers equipped for both r-EVAR and r-OSR decreased mortality by approximately 20%. Transfer did not impact the mortality of r-EVAR at the tertiary center. Care of r-AAA in the US should be centralized to centers equipped with available technology and vascular surgeons.

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