Impact of exclusion criteria on patient selection for endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm repair

Jeffrey P. Carpenter, Richard A. Baum, Clyde F. Barker, Michael A. Golden, Mark E. Mitchell, Omaida C. Velazquez, Ronald M. Fairman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

257 Scopus citations


Purpose: Wide-ranging predictions have been made about the usefulness of endovascular repair for patients with abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs). The availability of US Food and Drug Administration-approved devices has removed the restrictions on patient selection, which had been controlled by device trials. This study examined the applicability of endovascular AAA repair and identified the anatomic barriers to successful endovascular AAA repair that should guide future device development. Methods: All patients who came to our institution for infrarenal AAA repair between April 1998 and June 2000 were offered evaluation for endovascular repair. Thin-cut spiral computed tomography scans and arteriograms were obtained on all patients, and their anatomic characteristics were prospectively entered into a database. A wide selection of available devices allowed the treatment of diverse AAA anatomic features. Results: A total of 307 patients were examined (264 men, 43 women). Of these, 204 patients (66%; 185 men, 19 women) underwent endovascular repair, and 103 patients (34%, 79 men, 24 women) were rejected. Reasons for exclusion included short aneurysm neck (56, 54%), inadequate access because of small iliac arteries (48, 47%), wide aneurysm neck (41, 40%), presence of bilateral common iliac aneurysms extending to the hypogastric artery (22, 21%), excessive neck angulation (14, 14%), extensive mural thrombus in the aneurysm neck (10, 10%), extreme tortuosity of the iliac arteries (10, 10%), accessory renal arteries originating from the AAA (6, 6%), malignancy discovered during the examination (5, 5%), and death during the examination interval (2, 2%). Rejected patients had an average of 1.9 exclusion criteria (range, 1 to 4). A disproportionate number of women were excluded because of anatomic findings (P = .0009). Although 80% of patients who were at low risk for surgery qualified for endovascular repair, only 49% of our patients who were at high risk for surgery were acceptable candidates (P < .001). Of the 103 patients who were excluded, 34 (33%) underwent open surgical repair, and the remaining 69 (67%) were deemed to be unfit for open surgery. Three patients (1.4%) failed endograft placement because of inadequate vascular access. Conclusion: Most infrarenal AAAs (66%) can be treated with endovascular devices currently available commercially or through US Food and Drug Administration-approved clinical trials. However, patients who are at high risk for surgery and might benefit most from endovascular repair are less likely to qualify for the procedure (49%). Men (70%) are more likely than women (40%) to meet the anatomic criteria for endografting. Difficulties with vascular access and attachment site geometry predominate as reasons for exclusion. Our findings suggest that smaller profile devices, which can negotiate small and tortuous iliac arteries, are needed. Proximal and distal attachment site problems require devices that can accommodate wide and angulated attachment necks and achieve short seal zones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1050-1054
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of vascular surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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