Open thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm repair in octogenarians: Special considerations



NEW YORK – Outcomes of thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm (TAAA) repair in octogenarians vary considerably with the extent of repair. Those who undergo Extent II TAAA repair have significantly higher risks of morbidity and mortality, while Extent I, III, and IV repairs can be performed with relatively good outcomes, according to Dr. Muhammad Aftab, who presented the findings at the meeting sponsored by the American Association for Thoracic Surgery.

"Extensive TAAA repair should be performed with caution in octogenarians," says Dr. Aftab, a Fellow in cardiothoracic surgery at the Baylor College of Medicine–Texas Heart Institute, Houston. He recommends that a thorough preoperative discussion to assess the risks and benefits with the patient and his family is necessary before proceeding with surgery.

In this retrospective review of patients seen between January 2005 and September 2013, octogenarians with thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms (TAAAs) (n = 88) were compared with a younger cohort (n = 1,179 patients, aged 70 years). Dr. Aftab found that octogenarians were threefold more likely to present with aneurysm rupture (13.6% vs. 4.6%; P less than .001) but less likely to present with aortic dissections (12.5% vs. 43.9%; P less than .001) than did the younger patients.

During surgery, the use of other types of adjunctive interventions, such as left heart bypass, cerebrospinal fluid drainage, cold renal perfusion, and visceral perfusion differed significantly among the octogenarians based on the extent of repair and clinical condition (all P less than .001). Because the octogenarians had a greater atherosclerotic burden and higher incidence of renal and mesenteric occlusive disease, they were also more likely to require renal/visceral endarterectomy, stenting, or both (57.9% vs. 33.6%; P less than.001).

Overall, octogenarians had higher rates of operative mortality (26.1% vs. 6.9%), in-hospital deaths (25% vs. 6.4%), 30-day deaths (13.6% vs. 4.8%), and adverse outcomes (36.4% vs. 15.7%; P less than .001) than did the younger group, all significant differences. The outcomes included significantly higher rates of permanent renal failure, cardiac complications, and pulmonary complications. The octogenarians had longer recovery times, as suggested by longer postoperative ICU and hospital stays. Spinal cord deficits and paraplegia were higher in the older group, but the difference was not significant.

Poor outcomes differed according to the extent of surgery, and seemed to be exacerbated for those who underwent repair of Extent II aneurysms (according to the Crawford Classification, these involve the subclavian artery and extend to the bifurcation of the aorta in the pelvis). For instance, the Extent II group had the highest risk of operative mortality (61.5%) vs. Extent I (31.6%), III (21.4%), and IV (10.7%), a significant difference. The Extent II group also had much higher rates of in-hospital and 30-day death rates. The most common causes of deaths for the Extent II octogenarians were multisystem organ failure and cardiac problems.

Adverse outcomes were also significantly much higher for the Extent II group (76.9%) than for the other groups (42.1%, 28.6%, and 21.4%). Similar patterns were found for permanent paraplegia, renal failure requiring permanent dialysis, stroke, and days spent in the ICU. Almost 85% of those who required Extent II repair needed renal/visceral endarterectomy, stenting, or both as a part of the surgical procedure.

Extent II TAAA repair was identified as an independent predictor of perioperative mortality by multivariate analysis, conferring an 11-fold increased risk of death. Aneurysm rupture and dissection were also identified as predictors of perioperative mortality while only Extent II TAAA and dissection were independent predictors of adverse outcomes.

While these problems were exacerbated in those with Extent II repairs, Extent I, III, and IV TAAA repairs may be performed with relatively low risk, according to Dr. Aftab. The results suggest that while octogenarians present more challenges than younger individuals, outcomes vary greatly according to the type of aneurysm repair.

Dr. Aftab had no relevant disclosures.

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