Compliance with long-term surveillance recommendations following endovascular aneurysm repair or type B aortic dissection

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Lifelong surveillance is recommended for both endovascular aneurysm repair and acute, uncomplicated type B thoracic aortic dissection, though compliance remains a significant challenge. We sought to determine factors associated with failure to obtain recommended surveillance.


Patients surviving to discharge who had endovascular repair of thoracic (thoracic endovascular aortic aneurysm repair [TEVAR]) or abdominal aortic aneurysms (endovascular aortic aneurysm repair [EVAR]) or medical management for type B dissections from 2004–2011 were reviewed. Primary end points were compliance with follow-up and need for reintervention. Comorbidities examined included coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease. Socioeconomic factors examined were age, sex, distance from hospital, discharge destination (ie, home or skilled nursing facility), and insurance type. Endoleak and sac expansion were recorded, as were complications, including endograft migration, infection or thrombosis, and aneurysm degeneration.


Two hundred four patients, median age 71.9 years, were identified; 171 had EVAR and 33 had type B dissection. EVAR patients included 45 thoracic, 100 abdominal, and 12 thoracoabdominal endografts, as well as 7 iliac artery aneurysm repairs and 7 proximal/distal graft extensions. Median follow-up was 28 ± 10.5 months. Overall, 56% were lost to follow-up, whereas 11% never returned for surveillance after initial hospitalization. Follow-up was compared for each of the comorbidities and socioeconomic factors; none were found to significantly affect follow-up. The known complication rate was 9.3% (n = 19), with reintervention performed in 14% of EVAR/TEVAR patients. Thirty-eight percent of medically managed patients with type B dissections eventually required surgical intervention. All-cause 5-year mortality was 27% as determined by the Social Security Death Index.


Despite a significant rate of reintervention following EVAR, TEVAR, and type B dissection, long-term compliance with surveillance is limited. In addition, predicting who is at risk of being lost to follow-up remains difficult. If current recommendations for lifelong surveillance are to be followed, coordinated protocols are required to capture EVAR, TEVAR, and type B dissection patients to ensure optimal follow-up for these patients. However, the lack of survival benefit in those with complete follow-up suggests that further study is needed with regard to ideal duration of long-term follow-up.

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