Frailty as a Predictor of Mortality for Fenestrated EVAR and Open Surgical Repair of Aortic Aneurysms Involving Visceral Vessels

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Objectives: Frailty has been correlated with poor outcomes after major surgery across multiple specialties, but has not been studied in patients undergoing open or endovascular repair of suprarenal and thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms. Fenestrated endovascular aneurysm repair (FEVAR) has emerged as a lower risk alternative to open surgical repair (OSR) for patients with complex aortic aneurysms involving the visceral artery branches. The objective of the current study was to examine the relationship between frailty and peri-operative outcomes for FEVAR and OSR in patients with suprarenal and thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms. Methods: The American College of Surgeons—National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS-NSQIP) database was used to identify patients who underwent FEVAR or OSR for the years 2011 through 2017. Frailty was quantified using a modified 5-factor frailty index (mFI-5) that was previously validated for surgical patients. Frailty was correlated with the primary endpoint of 30-day mortality. Logistic regression was used to identify predictors of 30-day mortality. Results: A total of 675 FEVAR and 1,779 OSR operations were included in the analysis. The 30-day mortality rate was 3.0% for FEVAR and 7.1% for OSR (P = 0.002). Increasing frailty was significantly associated with higher 30-day mortality for both FEVAR (P = 0.018) and OSR (P = 0.0003). Independent predictors of 30-day mortality were frailty score (Odds Ratio [OR] 1.22 [per 0.1-unit increase]; P = 0.0005), type of repair (OSR versus FEVAR, OR 2.46; P = 0.0001), age (OR 1.03; P = 0.0025), female sex (OR 1.61; P = 0.007), Hispanic ethnicity (OR 2.68; P = 0.021), American Society of Anesthesiology [ASA] class (OR 1.57; P = 0.035), preoperative dialysis (OR 3.45; P = 0.032), and history of bleeding disorder (OR 2.60; P < 0.0001). Conclusions: Frailty, as measured using a mFI-5 score, is an independent predictor of 30-day mortality, overall complications, and length of stay after FEVAR or OSR. Frailty should be used to identify patients at high risk of adverse postoperative outcomes to determine if this risk is modifiable or whether nonoperative is the most appropriate option. FEVAR may offer improved 30-day outcomes, compared to OSR, for the frailest patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-36
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Vascular Surgery
StatePublished - Mar 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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