Comparison of contemporary and historical outcomes of elective and ruptured open abdominal aortic aneurysm repair

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of vascular surgery








Aortic aneurysm; NSQIP; Outcomes


BACKGROUND: Recently, open abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair (OSR) has become less common and will often be reserved for patients with more complex aortic anatomy. Despite improvements in patient management, the reduced surgical volume has raised concerns for potentially worsened outcomes in the contemporary era (2014-2019) compared with an earlier era in which OSR was more widely practiced (2005-2010). In the present study, we compared the 30-day outcomes of open AAA repair between these two eras. METHODS: The American College of Surgeons National Quality Improvement Program general database was queried for open AAA repair using the Current Procedural Terminology and International Classification of Diseases, 9th and 10th, codes. The cases were stratified into two groups by operation year: 2005 to 2010 (early) and 2014 to 2019 (contemporary). In each era, the cases were further divided into elective and ruptured groups. The 30-day outcomes, including mortality, major morbidity, postoperative sepsis, and unplanned reoperation, were compared between the contemporary and early eras in the elective and ruptured groups. Preoperative variables with a P value <.25 were adjusted for in the multivariate analysis. RESULTS: In the contemporary and early eras, 3749 and 3798 patients had undergone elective OSR and 1148 and 907 had undergone ruptured OSR, respectively. These samples were of similar sizes owing to the National Quality Improvement Program sampling process and our relatively strict inclusion criteria. In the contemporary era, fewer patients were elderly and fewer were smokers or had hypertension or dyspnea in the elective and rupture cohorts. More patients had had American Society of Anesthesiologists class >3 in the elective contemporary era (39% vs 24%; P < .0001). The contemporary elective repair group demonstrated increased 30-day mortality (3.7% vs 3.2%; adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.36; P = .006), major adverse cardiac events (5.7% vs 3.4%; aOR, 1.87; P < .0001), and bleeding requiring transfusion (58.5% vs 13.7%; aOR, 8.96; P < .0001). The incidence of pulmonary complications (12.1% vs 15.2%; aOR, 0.80; P = .02) and sepsis (3.7% vs 8.4%; aOR, 0.47; P < .0001) had decreased in the contemporary era, with a similar rate of unplanned reoperations (8.4% vs 7.7%; aOR, 1.16; P = .09). The incidence of renal complications in the contemporary era had increased, with a statistically significant difference. However, the absolute increase of <0.5% was likely not clinically relevant (5.5% vs 5.1%; aOR, 1.23; P = .049). In the ruptured cohort, contemporary repair was associated with increased 30-day mortality (41.4% vs 40%; aOR, 1.53; P < .0001), major adverse cardiac events (25.8% vs 12.8%; aOR, 2.49; P < .0001), and bleeding requiring transfusion (88.2% vs 27%; aOR, 23.03; P < .0001). The incidence of pulmonary complications (36.9% vs 48.1%; aOR, 0.67; P < .0001), sepsis (14.6% vs 23%; aOR, 0.75; P = .03), and unplanned reoperations (18.1% vs 22.7%; aOR, 0.74; P = .008) had decreased in the contemporary OSR group. No differences were detected in the incidence of renal complications. CONCLUSIONS: The 30-day mortality has worsened after open AAA repair in the elective and rupture settings despite the improvements in perioperative management over the years. These complications likely stem from increased bleeding events and major cardiac events, which were increased in the contemporary era.