Predicting failure to rescue after abdominal aortic aneurysm repair in elderly patients

Caitlin W. Hicks, Anna O'Kelly, Tammam Obeid, Satinderjit Locham, Mahmoud B. Malas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background We aim to describe trends in failure to rescue (FTR) among elderly patients undergoing elective open aortic aneurysm repair (OAR) and endovascular aortic aneurysm repair (EVAR). Materials and methods All patients aged ≥80 y recorded in the Vascular Quality Initiative database (2002-2014) undergoing nonruptured infrarenal AAA repair were included. Primary outcome was FTR, defined as percentage of deaths in patients who had a complication within 30 d of surgery. Univariable and multivariable statistics were used to identify risk factors for FTR following OAR and EVAR procedures. Results 975 elderly patients underwent AAA repair during the study period (EVAR = 667, OAR = 308). Overall FTR was 10%, most commonly related to acute kidney injury (62%) and respiratory failure (53%). Independent predictors of FTR included female gender (odds ratio [OR] 1.95), multiple comorbidities (OR 1.98), renal insufficiency (OR 1.97), peripheral vascular disease (OR 2.42), and perioperative vasopressor use (OR 4.49) (all, P < 0.02). Obesity was protective (OR 0.58, P = 0.02). FTR was higher following OAR versus EVAR (14% versus 9%; P = 0.02) on univariable analysis, but there was no significant difference between operative approaches after risk adjustment (OR 1.15, P = 0.60). Comparing elderly versus younger patients (n = 2854), FTR was significantly higher for the elderly for both OAR (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.36-3.01) and EVAR (OR 1.60, 95% CI 1.07-2.40). Conclusions FTR after AAA repair is not uncommon among elderly patients and could explain the higher mortality observed in this group compared to the general population. Overall health status should be carefully considered when weighing the risks versus benefits of performing AAA repair in patients aged ≥80 y.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-270
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Sep 2017


  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm
  • EVAR
  • Elderly
  • Failure to rescue
  • OAR
  • Octogenarian

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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