What determines and are the consequences of surveillance intensity after endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm repair?
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SourceAnnals of Vascular Surgery, 19, 6, (2005), pp. 868-75
Article / Letter to editor
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Annals of Vascular Surgery
SubjectUMCN 5.5: Nutrition and Health
Follow-up examinations are advised 1, 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months and yearly thereafter by the European Collaborating Group on Stent-Graft Techniques for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair (EUROSTAR). The aim of this study was to evaluate the determinants and consequences of surveillance completeness. Patients who underwent endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm repair between October 1996 and August 2004 and enrolled in the EUROSTAR registry were analyzed. Two groups were compared: patients who attended all scheduled visits (group A) and those who came infrequently (group B). Odds ratios and hazard rates (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were determined to detect which patient characteristics and complications were associated with follow-up intensity. Of the 4,433 patients, 1,538 (35%) attended all scheduled visits until the end of follow-up (group A). Analysis of patient characteristics demonstrated that intensive visitors were more often smokers, hyperlipemic, and considered unfit for open surgery or general anesthesia. Complications during follow-up, including endoleaks (24% vs. 20%), kinking (3.5% vs. 2.5%), and migration (4.9% vs. 3.5%), appeared significantly more frequently in group A. Despite intensive follow-up of this category, still a greater proportion died (12% vs. 9%, adjusted HR = 1.5, 95% CI 1.2-1.8). After 84 months of follow-up, the cumulative survival rates in groups A and B were 71% and 74%, respectively (p < 0.0001). It seems that follow-up intensity was based on baseline patient characteristics. High-risk patients had, despite more intensive surveillance, still more complications after adjustment for patient, morphological, and center-specific characteristics. Further assessment is indicated to evaluate the effectiveness of different frequencies of surveillance visits.
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