Although it is traditionally considered ominous, the natural history of early proximal attachment site endoleaks (IA) after endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) is not well known. Our aim was to identify risk factors for persistent type IA endoleaks and to determine their effect on long-term outcomes after EVAR.Methods
All patients who underwent infrarenal EVAR at a single institution between 1998 and 2015 were identified. Preoperative axial imaging and intraoperative arteriograms were reviewed, and those patients with a type IA endoleak were further studied. Aneurysm features were characterized by two reviewers and were studied for predictors of persistent endoleaks at the conclusion of the case. Patient records and the Social Security Death Index were used to record 1-year and overall survival.Results
We identified 1484 EVARs, 122 (8%) of which were complicated by a type IA endoleak on arteriography after graft deployment, with a median follow-up of 4 years. The majority of patients underwent additional ballooning of the proximal site (52 [43%]) or placement of an aortic cuff (47 [39%]); 30 patients (25%) received a Palmaz stent, and four patients were treated with coils or anchors. At case end, only 43 (35%) of the type IA endoleaks remained; at 1 month, only 16 endoleaks persisted (13%), and only six persisted at 1 year (6%). In multivariable analysis, the only independent predictor of persistence of type IA endoleak at the conclusion of the case was the presence of extensive neck calcifications (odds ratio [OR], 9.9; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.4-67.9; P = .02). Thirteen patients (11%) underwent reintervention for type IA endoleaks, with a time frame ranging from 3 days postoperatively to 11 years. There were three patients (2.4%) who experienced aneurysm rupture. Postoperative type IA endoleak was associated with lower survival at 1 year (79% vs 91%; relative risk, 2.5; 95% CI, 1.1-5.4; P = .02), but it did not affect long-term survival (log-rank, P = .45). Both an increase in aneurysm sac size and failure of the endoleak to resolve by case end were independent predictors of a need for reintervention (growth: OR, 8.3; 95% CI, 2.2-31.6; P < .01; persistent endoleak: OR, 7.6; 95% CI, 1.8-31.5; P < .01). A persistent type IA endoleak was not independently associated with an increase in sac size on surveillance imaging (P = .28).Conclusions
Aneurysm rupture secondary to persistent type IA endoleak is rare, and most will resolve within 1 year. Extensive neck calcification is the only independent predictor of persistent type IA endoleak, and an increase in sac size warrants reintervention. These data suggest that select early persistent type IA endoleaks can be safely observed.