Endovascular repair of small abdominal aortic aneurysms: A paradigm shift?

M. Burress Welborn, Franklin S. Yau, J. Gregory Modrall, Jorge A. Lopez, Stephen Floyd, R. James Valentine, G. Patrick Clagett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Recent reports have documented poor long-term results following endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) of large abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA). EVAR of small AAAs may result in improved long-term results compared to large AAAs. It is not known whether the frequency of anatomic suitability for EVAR is increased for small compared to large AAAs. This study compared the anatomic suitability of large and small AAAs for EVAR in an unselected patient population. Radiology reports for all computed tomography (CT) scans in a single hospital over a recent 3-year period were reviewed. AAAs diagnosed by contrasted CT scans with cuts >7 mm were excluded. Suitability for EVAR was determined by neck diameter, length, and angulation. In addition, iliac diameters and common iliac distal landing zone lengths were determined. Computerized 3-dimensional (3D) reconstruction was used to measure neck angulation and total aortic tortuosity. One hundred ninety-one patients were found to have AAAs with adequate CT scans for evaluation. Suitability for EVAR was highest in patients with AAA diameters of 3-4 cm and declined with increasing size of the AAA. Dividing AAAs into sizes greater than or less than 5.5 cm revealed that small AAAs had significantly longer necks, less neck angulation, longer common iliac landing zones, and less total aortic tortuosity. Multivariable analysis revealed that maximal aortic diameter was the only independent predictor of suitability for EVAR (p = 0.005, odds ratio 1.67, CI 95% = 1.17 to 2.38). The odds ratio predicts that with each 1 cm increase in size, the likelihood of suitability decreased by 5.3-fold. Small AAAs have less complex anatomy with longer aortic necks, less neck angulation, and less tortuosity. The poor outcomes following the treatment of large AAAs is thought to be due to complex anatomy. EVAR of less anatomically challenging small AAAs may improve long-term outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)381-391
Number of pages11
JournalVascular and Endovascular Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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