Elective Repair of Infra-Renal Aortic Aneurysm
J.D. Cohen, P. Singer, M. Haddad, A. Zelikovski
Depts. of General Intensive Care and Vascular Surgery, Rabin Medical Center, Beilinson Campus; and Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University
Age over 80 years is generally considered an independent risk factor in elective surgery for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). As the general population increases in age, more elderly are likely to be candidates for such surgery.
We studied prospectively 100 consecutive patients undergoing elective AAA surgery between 1992-1995. All were operated on by the same team of anesthetists and surgeons and all were transferred to the general ICU for at least the first 24 hours. 16 were above the age of 80 (Group I) and 84 below (Group II).
We recorded preoperative factors (demographics, medical history, risk factor indices, EKG findings, as well as left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) and stress imaging when indicated); intraoperative factors (duration of surgery, size of aneurysm, complications and units of blood transfused); postoperative factors (length of ICU stay, duration of ventilation, APACHE II [Acute Physiological and Chronic Health Evaluation] and TISS [Therapeutic Intervention Scoring System] scores; complications in the ICU, need for readmission to the ICU, and mortality).
In Group I LVEF was greater (p=0.03) and aneurysm size significantly larger (p=0.036), but there were no other significant differences between the 2 groups with regard to pre- and intraoperative data. Group I patients were not ventilated as long (p=0.038), but there were no significant differences in outcome factors. Mortality for the whole group was 5% and was not significantly different in the 2 groups (1/16 in Group I and 4/84 in Group II).
We conclude that there is no excess morbidity or mortality in octogenarians undergoing AAA surgery. However risk of the aneurysms rupturing is significantly greater since they are larger. We suggest that age not be considered the sole criterion for aneurysm repair, or at least not in selected patients with normal LVEF.