Despite improvements in endovascular aortic aneurysm repair (EVAR) devices and techniques, significant anatomic constraints still preclude successful EVAR in a large number of patients. The authors sought to identify the current barriers to EVAR and examine their evolution over time. Patients were evaluated for potential endovascular repair by computed tomography angiography (CTA) with or without supplemental conventional arteriograms. The patient population was separated into 2 groups (A and B) based on early and late time periods in the experience with EVAR, corresponding to the availability of various devices. Group A (early) consisted of the Guidant Ancure, Medtronic Talent, and AneuRx devices and comprised patients presenting between April 1997 through June 2000. Group B (late) consisted of the Medtronic AneuRx, Cook Zenith, Edwards Lifepath, Gore Excluder, and Endologix PowerLink devices and comprised patients presenting between July 2000 and December 2003. Patient demographics and anatomic reasons for rejection were recorded in a database for statistical analysis. In total, 547 patients were evaluated (463 men, 84 women). Of these, 346 patients (63%; 312 men, 34 women) were deemed suitable candidates for EVAR and 201 (37%; 151 men, 50 women) were rejected. There was no significant difference in the overall rate of rejection in the early vs the late time period (34% A, 41% B, p = 0.08), but the number of exclusion criteria per patient decreased over time; patients rejected for EVAR had an overall average of 1.6 exclusion criteria (Group A, 1.9; Group B, 1.2). The reasons for rejection did significantly change over time. Specifically, rejection on the basis of inadequate arterial access, presence of extensive iliac artery aneurysms, or an inadequate proximal neck decreased. A disproportionate number of women were excluded throughout the study: Group A, 56% of women compared to 30% of men (p = 0.0003); Group B, 63% of women compared to 36% of men (p = 0.0022). Women were more likely than men to have inadequate arterial access routes. In addition, patients with high operative risk were also more likely to be excluded from EVAR, a finding that persisted over time. Anatomic constraints continue to pose significant challenges to aortic endografting. Progress has been made in that technological advances have conquered some of the previous anatomic challenges, chiefly those of arterial access and treatment of concomitant iliac aneurysm disease. However, the overall rate of rejection for EVAR remains the same. The chief anatomic barriers continue to be the difficult aortic neck and management of branched vascular segments.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine