Functional status predicts major complications and death after endovascular repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms

Donald G. Harris, Ilynn Bulatao, Connor P. Oates, Richa Kalsi, Charles B. Drucker, Nandakumar Menon, Tanya R. Flohr, Robert S. Crawford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Objective Endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) is considered a lower risk option for treating abdominal aortic aneurysms and is of particular utility in patients with poor functional status who may be poor candidates for open repair. However, the specific contribution of preoperative functional status to EVAR outcomes remains poorly defined. We hypothesized that impaired functional status, based simply on the ability of patients to perform activities of daily living, is associated with worse outcomes after EVAR. Methods Patients undergoing nonemergent EVAR for abdominal aortic aneurysm between 2010 and 2014 were identified in the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) database. The primary outcomes were 30-day mortality and major operative and systemic complications. Secondary outcomes were inpatient length of stay, need for reoperation, and discharge disposition. Using the NSQIP-defined preoperative functional status, patients were stratified as independent or dependent (either partial or totally dependent) and compared by univariate and multivariable analyses. Results Of 13,432 patients undergoing EVAR between 2010 and 2014, 13,043 were independent (97%) and 389 were dependent (3%) before surgery. Dependent patients were older and more frequently minorities; had higher rates of chronic pulmonary, heart, and kidney disease; and were more likely to have an American Society of Anesthesiologists score of 4 or 5. On multivariable analysis, preoperative dependent status was an independent risk factor for operative complications (odds ratio [OR], 3.1; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.5-3.9), systemic complications (OR, 2.8; 95% CI, 2.0-3.9), and 30-day mortality (OR, 3.4; 95% CI, 2.1-5.6). Secondary outcomes were worse among dependent patients. Conclusions Although EVAR is a minimally invasive procedure with substantially less physiologic stress than in open aortic repair, preoperative functional status is a critical determinant of adverse outcomes after EVAR in spite of the minimally invasive nature of the procedure. Functional status, as measured by performance of activities of daily living, can be used as a valuable marker of increased perioperative risk and may identify patients who may benefit from preoperative conditioning and specialized perioperative care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)743-750
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes


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