Home > Journals > Minerva Cardioangiologica > Past Issues > Minerva Cardioangiologica 2000 December;48(12) > Minerva Cardioangiologica 2000 December;48(12):441-50



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Minerva Cardioangiologica 2000 December;48(12):441-50


language: English, Italian

Surgery of abdominal aorta in octogenarians. Can indications be extended?

Cardia G., Tumolo R., Loverre G., Melino R., Iusco D. R., Nacchiero M.


Background. This paper describes the authors' experience with the management of the abdominal aorta in patients aged over 80 years.
Methods. Ten urgent procedures were perforrned on patients older than 80 years during a 2 year period. In 4 cases surgery was performed because of a ruptured aneurysm of the subrenal abdominal aorta, in 2 cases for active symptomatic aneurysms, in 3 cases for severe lower limb ischemia (occlusion of the iliac and femoral arteries) and in 1 case for a secondary aortoenteric fistula.
Results. The operative mortality rate was 20% (2 cases with a ruptured aneurysm). Five patients are still alive in good health conditions (one of them had been operated twice for two different diseases). Even if our findings refer to a small number of patients, although similar series on emergency operations found in the literature are not substantially larger, the results do not advise against operative treatment of the abdominal aorta in cases requiring a direct approach, even in patients over 80 years of age.
Conclusions. If this treatment strategy is obviously adopted in emergency conditions, as with the patients we are reporting on, since the alternative to operation is usually death, it should also be carefully considered in elective circumstances, where alternative treatments such as endovascular stents did not to date obtain better results. In the elective scenario all the necessary biological and physical parameters as well as the patient's age should be taken into proper account in deciding whether to operate. This is specially true now that the average life spans of an individual is longer so that patients, who may incur serious problems if left untreated, may be offered a better quality of life.

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