Ruptured Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms: Role of Endovascular Therapy

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Ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms historically have high mortality rates. Despite improvements in many open surgical techniques and perioperative care, these mortality rates have not significantly changed. Some of the reasons for the high mortality rates include the excessive blood loss and hypothermia that occur during open operative repair. The blood loss and hypothermia, combined with resuscitative dilutional coagulopathy, can lead to an irreversible spiraling coagulopathy that ultimately ends in the patient's demise. The availability of endovascular approaches to treat abdominal aortic aneurysms in the early 1990s offered an opportunity to substantially alter the treatment outcomes of ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms. Endovascular repair offers many advantages, including rapid aortic control under local anesthesia, as well as an opportunity to limit the hypothermia and blood loss that occur with an open abdomen. This article will review the endovascular management of ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms and describe the endovascular techniques for safe and effective treatment.

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