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International Angiology 2012 April;31(2):181-6


language: English

Growth rates of abdominal aortic aneurysms in Japanese patients observed in one institute

Watanabe Y., Shigematsu H., Obitsu Y., Koizumi N., Saiki N., Iwahashi T.

Second Department of Surgery, Tokyo Medical University, Tokyo, Japan


AIM:The aim of this paper was to investigate the growth rate of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) in Japanese patients.
METHODS:We retrospectively studied patients conservatively followed with infrarenal AAA in terms of AAA diameter measured using computed tomography (CT) in our hospital between 1999 and 2009. The AAA surgery criterion in our institute was a diameter ≥ 5.0 cm or a growth rate ≥5 mm/year. We estimated operation-free ratios by initial AAA diameter and changes in AAA growth rates. Patients with an initial AAA diameter < 5.0 cm were divided into 2 groups. Patients with AAA that met the criteria for surgery were classified into the expansion group, and those remaining into the non-expansion group. Their AAA growth rates were compared.
RESULTS: The group consisted of 124 patients (average age, 73.7±8.6 years (range 54-92)) who had at least 2 recorded AAA measurements. The average follow-up period was 3.0±2.2 years (range 0.3-10.2). There were no cases of rupture during follow-up. Twenty-six patients (21.0%) underwent surgery (open replacement [N.=20]; endovascular abdominal aneurysm repair [N.=6]). The growth rate determined from the initially measured diameter was significantly faster in AAAs measuring 5.0-5.4 cm than in AAAs measuring 4.5-4.9 cm (P=0.01). More than 90% of patients with an initial AAA diameter <5.0 cm were observed conservatively for 2 years or more. However, more than half of the patients with an initial AAA diameter ≥4.0 cm needed surgery within 5 years. The growth rates of AAAs for each size during growth were significantly faster when the AAA diameter was 4.5-4.9 cm than when it was 4.0-4.4 cm (P=0.006), and when the AAA diameter was 5.0-5.4 cm than when it was 4.5-4.9 cm (P = 0.009). The expansion and non-expansion groups consisted of 38 (34.2%) and 73 (75.8%) patients, respectively. The AAA growth rate in the expansion group was significantly faster than that in the non-expansion group (3.4±2.2 mm/year vs. 1.4±1.3 mm/year, P=0.0001).
CONCLUSION: It may be considered that the appropriate indication for AAA repair is defined by a diameter of 5.0 cm for Japanese patients. Patients with AAA that is growing continuously by ≥3 mm/year and who have low operative risk may undergo surgery even if their AAA is <5.0 cm.

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