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The Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 2011 April;52(2):193-8


lingua: Inglese

Is it time to eliminate CT after EVAR as routine follow-up?

Verhoeven E. L. G. 1, 3, Oikonomou K. 1, Ventin F. C. 1, Lerut P. 2, Fernandes e Fernandes R. 3, Mendes Pedro L. 3

1 CDepartment of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Klinikum Nürnberg, Nürnberg, Germany; 2 Groeninge Hospital, Department of Vascular and Thoracic Surgery, Kortrijk, Belgium; 3 University Medical School, Lisbon, Portugal


Growing concerns regarding radiation exposure, contrast induced nephropathy and increasing costs lead us to reconsider the necessity of CTA for all EVAR patients. The purpose of this study is to compare the results of different follow-up imaging modalities with the aim of finding a rationale to the optimal follow-up imaging protocol. We reviewed recent literature regarding post EVAR imaging modalities and compared it to our experience with different follow-up protocols. Modalities compared were CTA, DUS, CEUS, and plain abdominal X-ray with regard to detection of complications, cost, overall impact to the patient, and on decision making regarding reintervention. CTA is related to increased follow-up costs and a much higher exposure to radiation compared to other modalities. The cumulative radiation dose can have a significant impact on the attributable lifetime cancer risk of patients. Renal function deterioration during post EVAR follow-up is higher compared to open repair. Plain abdominal X-ray is the best manageable modality and a well established tool in documenting migration kinking and stent fracture. Plain X-Ray cannot be used as a standalone imaging modality since it doesn’t allow direct detection of endoleaks. As far as detection of endoleaks is concerned recent meta-analyses show a sensitivity of 66-77% for DUS and 81-98% for CEUS, respectively. Most endoleaks missed by DUS and CEUS are type II endoleaks with no need for reintervention. Our data in a cohort of 62 patients do show a sensitivity of 66.7% for DUS, and do correlate with current literature. No endoleaks requiring reintervention were missed. A follow-up protocol comprising of DUS/CEUS and plain abdominal X-ray gives a wide range of information covering EVAR related risks and is associated with less radiation exposure, avoidance of renal function deterioration due to repeated contrast agent application and an important decrease in the cost of EVAR follow-up. CTA should be reserved for cases of inconclusive ultrasound, signs of complications and unfavourable anatomy.

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