Management of Difficult Access during Endovascular Aneurysm Repair.

Publication/Presentation Date



BACKGROUND: To describe a large single-institutional experience in managing challenging access situations during endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR).

METHODS: Data from all patients undergoing EVAR at a tertiary academic medical center between 2009 and 2013 were collected retrospectively, including demographics, size of iliac arteries, type of device used, approach to managing difficult access (DA), and outcomes. The median follow-up was 38 months. DA was defined as iliac arteries with a diameter of less than 7 mm bilaterally. Fenestrated and snorkel repairs were excluded.

RESULTS: Of 400 EVARs performed during the study period, 191 (48%) were done in patients with DA. Of the DA patients, 35 (18.3%) underwent 42 adjuncts before the introduction of the main body device: including 15 dilators, 11 balloon angioplasties, 9 aortouniiliac devices, 3 SoloPath sheaths, 1 retroperitoneal cutdown, and 3 iliac stents. In another 29 patients, iliac stents were used to correct stenoses or kinks in the limbs after EVAR devices were deployed. The average diameter of the iliac artery used to deliver main body component was 4.6 mm in the group of patients requiring adjuncts and 5.4 mm in the remainder of the patients with small iliac arteries (P = 0.008). The median size of the main body device was 28 mm. Two cases were aborted due to inability to deliver the device. Other complications included 7 (3.6%) iliac ruptures, 3 (1.6%) instances of limb ischemia, and 5 (2.6%) patients needed early reoperation (within 30 days). Two patients (1%) had type I endoleaks at the conclusion of EVAR. During follow-up, 12 (6.3%) patients required EVAR revisions. Seven patients (3.6%) had limb thrombosis which occurred only in patients who did not have adjective procedures during the initial EVAR. Limb thrombosis and rate of revisions in patients with DA were not significantly different from the rates observed in non-DA patients. Perioperative mortality after elective repairs was 1.6% in DA patients and 0% in non-DA patients (P = 0.12).

CONCLUSIONS: EVAR can be successfully performed in patients with bilateral small iliac arteries. Adjunctive procedures might increase the technical success rate of EVAR in these patients and should definitely be considered in patients with iliac arteries less than 5 mm in diameter. Next generation and "low-profile" devices might minimize the need for adjunctive procedures and facilitate EVAR in these patients.



First Page


Last Page





Medicine and Health Sciences




Department of Medicine, Cardiology Division

Document Type