Temporal Changes in Intraluminal Thrombus Volume Within Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms: Implications for Planning Endovascular Aneurysm Sealing

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Purpose: To explore whether or not there are temporal changes in the abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) and intraluminal thrombus (ILT) volumes between planning and implantation of the endovascular aneurysm sealing (EVAS) device and how these changes influence lumen volume. Methods: A retrospective review was conducted of 51 AAA patients (mean age 76±7.1 years; 36 men) in whom 2 serial preoperative computed tomography angiograms (CTAs) had been performed within 1 to 18 months before fenestrated endovascular repair. The 2 preoperative CTAs were analyzed to identify changes in total sac, ILT, and lumen volumes. Results: Over a median 7.0 months (interquartile range 4, 10), 46 (90%) of 51 AAAs increased in volume between the 2 CTAs. ILT volume increased in 44 aneurysms. In contrast, lumen volume increased in 31 and decreased in 20 AAAs. There was a strong correlation between changes in AAA volume and ILT volume (rs=0.859, p<0.001), which remained significant after adjustment for initial volumes (rs=0.815; p<0.001). There was no correlation between the time interval separating the 2 CTAs and changes in AAA volume (rs=0.115; p=0.421), changes in ILT volume (rs=0.084; p=0.599), or changes in lumen volume (rs=0.060; p=0.676). The AAA growth rate (defined as the change in AAA size/days between CTAs) showed a weak correlation with ILT volume (rs=0.272, p=0.054), which disappeared after adjustment for initial AAA size (rs=−0.002, p=0.991). Between the 2 CTAs, 12 aneurysms crossed the new <1.4 Nellix maximum aorta/lumen diameter ratio. Conclusion: As AAAs grow, the increase in aortic volume is largely occupied by additional ILT formation, with minimal change in lumen volume. These changes may alter the suitability of the aneurysm for the Nellix device and could have implications for EVAS planning and device deployment.

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