Background and objective The endovascular treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysms has raised great interest amongst vascular surgeons. The aim of this study was to com pare the postoperative morbidity and mortality rates of endovascular treatment with those of open surgery, from the anaesthesiologist's standpoint.
Methods From January 1997 to June 2000, 425 consecutive patients with abdominal aortic aneurysms were referred for regular surgery. Thirty-nine patients who needed a visceral or renal artery revasculariza-tion, or a nephrectomy were excluded. The remaining 386 patients were studied in a prospective manner. Aneurysms were evaluated with spiral computerized tomography scanning and calibrated aortography. After informed consent, only those patients with a suitable vascular anatomy underwent endovascular treatment (n = 193). All other patients underwent open surgery and are considered as a control group n= 193). Endovascular treatment was performed by a femoral or an iliac retroperitoneal route. All stent-grafts were made to measure using auto-expandable stainless-steel stents covered with a standard polyester prosthetic graft.
Results Six patients in the endovascular treatment group needed to be converted to the open surgical technique (during the same operation) because of rupture of the iliac bifurcation (1 patient), a large en-doleak (2 patients), or technical problems (3 patients).
Conclusion The amount of bleeding and the need for blood products were significantly lower in the endovascular treatment group. Despite the absence of significant differences regarding cardiac complications and mortality, there was a lesser incidence of pneumonia, acute respiratory and renal failure. Patients in the endovascular treatment group spent less time in the intensive care unit and in the Hospital.