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Less Invasive Interventional Treatment Can Be Recommended as First-Line Treatment for 'Silent Killer,' Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
Date:3/10/2009

of the blood beats against the weakened wall, which then bulges, balloon-like, into an aneurysm. If the aneurysm grows large enough, there is a danger that it will burst. The goal is to prevent aneurysms from rupturing. Once an AAA has ruptured, the chances of survival are low, with 80 to 90 percent of all ruptured aneurysms resulting in death. These deaths can be avoided if an aneurysm is detected and treated before it ruptures. AAA is the 17th leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for more than 15,000 deaths annually. AAA affects as many as 8 percent of people over the age of 60, and men are four times more likely to have AAA than women.

To treat AAA, interventional radiologists use imaging to guide a catheter and graft inside a patient's artery -- without the need to cut open the abdomen, as in surgery. Going through skin at the groin, a catheter is passed into the femoral artery and directed to the aortic aneurysm. The doctor passes a stent graft, which is compressed into a small diameter within the catheter, through the catheter. The stent graft is advanced to the aneurysm and then opened, creating new walls in the blood vessel through which blood flows. This innovative and noninvasive method of placing a graft within an aneurysm redirects blood flow and stops direct pressure from being exerted on the weak aortic wall, explained Sabharwal.

Interventional radiologists analyzed the results of 453 patients (ages 40-93) who underwent endovascular repair for AAA over an eight-year period, studying the rate of secondary interventions (or the necessity of performing additional procedures to correct complications from a prior treatment) and whether the need for repeat interventions could be predicted by surveillance imaging. "Most importantly, the overall rate of secondary interventions after endovascular repair was 7.2 percent, which compares favorably to open surgery series," said Sabharwal. Complications include
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SOURCE Society of Interventional Radiology
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