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MINERVA CARDIOANGIOLOGICA

A Journal on Heart and Vascular Diseases


Official Journal of the Italian Society of Angiology and Vascular Pathology
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Minerva Cardioangiologica 2000 April-May;48(4-5):129-36

language: English, Italian

Two incidental cases of abdominal aortic aneurysm and gallbladder cancer. Further data influencing the management of patients affected by aneurysm and gallbladder disease

De Monti M., Ghilardi G., Bianchi E., Kunkl E., Scorza R.


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Abdominal aortic aneurysm and cholelithiasis are two common diseases in the elderly population. The prevalence of abdominal aortic aneurysms ranges between 1.8 and 6.6% in autopsic series and it's estimated that 2.5% of the over sixty year old population is affected. Carcinoma of the gallbladder is the most common malignant tumor of the biliary tract and in the United States is the fifth most frequent digestive tract malignancy; it's incidence ranges between 2 to 10 cases of 100,000 persons/year. No adequate guidelines are now available to assist the surgeon, in the case of concomitant gallbladder disease and abdominal aortic aneurysm. In this paper the management of abdominal aortic aneurysm in a patient with gallbladder disease is discussed in order to assist the surgeon deciding whether to perform concomitant aneurysm resection and cholecystectomy. In 162 aneurysmectomies (1987-1997) 18 (11.11%) patients underwent combined aneurysmectomy and cholecystectomy operation. The patients ranged in age from 49 to 88 years (average 69 years). In two cases the anatomohistological specimen examinations (twelve sections) demonstrated a gallbladder carcinoma. The overall mortality rate was 5.56% either for aneurysmectomy alone or for combined therapy. In case of abdominal aortic aneurysm and concomitant gallbladder disease, in choosing simple endoaneurysmectomy, the surgeon has to consider the risk of early and late complications of leaving a diseased gallbladder in place. In case of concomitant performance of both operations, the risks of a possible septic graft contamination must be considered. We believe that the patient may be best served by performing the vascular and non vascular procedures in the same operation. In this paper a new proof, till now never considered in the international literature, is presented to support our opinion: the possibility of concomitant unknown cancer or precancerous lesions in a lithiasic gallbladder. Diagnosis of these lesions is, indeed, not easy to perform in the preoperative phase and is often a postoperative anatomo-histological detection.

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