Background: Arterial involvement in Behçet's syndrome is rare. Aneurysms are common among the arterial lesions, affecting various arteries but mostly the abdominal aorta. Surgical interposition graft insertion is the treatment of choice for large aneurysms. However, vasculitis in these patients is the reason for the notorious surgical complications that result in up to 50% false aneurysms in anastomotic sites. Recently, endovascular repair for abdominal aortic aneurysms has been established.
Objectives: To learn more about vascular Behçet and, specifically, to compare the results of surgical treatment and endovascular repair of AAA in patients with Behçet's syndrome.
Methods: We retrieved the medical records of all 53 patients with Behçet disease admitted to Rambam Medical Center during the years 1985 and 2001 and analysed the results and follow-up of open surgery versus endovascular repair of AAA in patients with known Behçet's syndrome.
Results: Of the 53 patients with Behçet's disease 18 had vascular manifestations (34%). AAAs were encountered in 8 patients (15%) and 5 were treated. Open surgery (group 1), under general anesthesia, lasted less than 3 hours with an average aortic clamping time of 34 minutes (range 26–41 min) after which the patients were transferred to the intensive care unit for 24–48 hours. Endovascular treatment (group 2), although lasting about the same time without the need for intensive care, necessitated contrast media and fluoroscopy. The length of hospital stay was considerably shorter for patients after endovascular repair compared to open surgery (3 days vs. 6 days). Combined mortality and morbidity was higher in patients who underwent open surgery compared to endovascular repair (one death, one major amputation and three anastomotic pseudoaneurysms compared to one temporary contrast-induced nephropathy).
Conclusions: Vasculo-Behçet patients with AAA are better candidates for endovascular treatment than atherosclerotic patients. Combined morbidity (especially anastomotic pseudoaneurysms) and mortality of Behçet patients after endovascular repair is considerably lower than after open surgery.