Predicting aortic complications after endovascular aneurysm repair

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Lifelong surveillance is standard after endovascular repair of abdominal aortic aneurysm (EVAR), but remains costly, heterogeneous and poorly calibrated. This study aimed to develop and validate a scoring system for aortic complications after EVAR, informing rationalized surveillance.


Patients undergoing EVAR at two centres were studied from 2004 to 2010. Preoperative morphology was quantified using three-dimensional computed tomography according to a validated protocol, by investigators blinded to outcomes. Proportional hazards modelling was used to identify factors predicting aortic complications at the first centre, and thereby derive a risk score. Sidak tests between risk quartiles dichotomized patients to low- or high-risk groups. Aortic complications were reported by Kaplan–Meier analysis and risk groups were compared by log rank test. External validation was by comparison of aortic complications between risk groups at the second centre.


Some 761 patients, with a median age of 75 (interquartile range 70–80) years, underwent EVAR. Median follow-up was 36 (range 11–94) months. Physiological variables were not associated with aortic complications. A morphological risk score incorporating maximum aneurysm diameter (P< 0·001) and largest common iliac diameter (measured 10 mm from the internal iliac origin;P= 0·004) allocated 75 per cent of patients to a low-risk group, with excellent discrimination between 5-year rates of aortic complication in low- and high-risk groups at both centres (centre 1: 12versus31 per cent,P< 0·001; centre 2: 12versus45 per cent,P= 0·002).


The risk score uses commonly available morphological data to stratify the rate of complications after EVAR. The proposals for rationalized surveillance could provide clinical and economic benefits.

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