Effect of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Size on Mid-Term Mortality After Endovascular Repair

Sooyeon Kim, Haekyung Jeon-Slaughter, Xiaofei Chen, Bala Ramanan, Melissa L. Kirkwood, Carlos H. Timaran, J. Gregory Modrall, Shirling Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Previous studies have suggested that large preoperative AAA size may impact late survival after elective EVAR. It is unclear, however, whether this association applies to patients with smaller AAA between 5.0-5.5 cm, who constitute a substantial portion of patients undergoing elective EVAR. The purpose of this study was to delineate the effect of AAA size between 5.0 and 5.5 cm on mid-term mortality after EVAR by analyzing a large national cohort, the Vascular Quality Initiative (VQI) database. Methods: Using the Vascular Quality Initiative (VQI) national database, patients who underwent EVAR for intact AAA between 2003 and 2018 were identified and stratified based on maximal AAA diameter into 3 groups: Group 1 (4.0 cm ≤ AAA <5.0 cm); Group 2 (5.0 cm ≤ AAA < 5.5 cm); and Group 3 (AAA ≥ 5.5 cm). Cox proportional hazard model and propensity score matching method were used to estimate AAA size effect on all-cause mortality at 1, 3, and 5 years after EVAR while adjusting for potential confounders. Results: The study included 32,398 patients, of whom 81% were men with a mean age of 74. The most common group who underwent EVAR was Group 2 (5.0 cm ≤ AAA < 5.5 cm). Larger AAA size was associated with male sex (75% versus 79% versus 84%, for Groups 1, 2, and 3 respectively; P < 0.0001) and with coronary artery disease (27% versus 29% versus 31%, for Groups 1, 2, and 3 respectively, P< 0.0001); but was negatively associated with active smoking (33% versus 31% versus 30%, for Groups 1, 2, and 3, respectively, P< 0.001). While 10% of the largest and smallest AAA groups (Groups 3 and 1, respectively) were symptomatic, only 5% of patients in Group 2 were symptomatic (P < 0.01). Adjusted Cox proportional hazard modeling revealed that patients in Group 2 were at significantly lower risk of 5-year mortality when compared to patients in Group 3 (HR 0.66, 95% CI 0.61-0.72, P< 0.01), while similar in risk when compared to patients in Group 1 (HR 1.11, 95% CI 0.93-1.32, P= 0.26). Conclusion: Our analysis found that over 40% of EVAR in the national VQI cohort were performed for AAA < 5.5 cm, with the greatest number of patients undergoing EVAR at AAA size 5.0-5.5cm. Patients with AAA size 5.0-5.5 cm had better 5-year survival outcomes than patients with AAA ≥ 5.5 cm, and similar survival to patients with small AAA between 4.0-5.0 cm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)443-451
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm
  • Evar
  • Mortality
  • Preoperative aneurysm size
  • Vascular quality initiative

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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