The study was conducted to demonstrate improved survival (30-day mortality) after the introduction of an emergency endovascular therapy protocol for ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms (rAAA). Numerous authors have successfully demonstrated reduced mortality in patients with rAAA using endovascular techniques. Comparison of endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) with open repair for rAAA may be misleading, however, because EVAR cannot be performed on all patients, and selection bias may explain the superior performance of any given surgical or endovascular strategy. We developed a model to predict mortality in patients before the introduction of EVAR (preprotocol population), applied this model to predict 30-day mortality among prospective patients (postprotocol population), and compared observed vs expected results.
We assessed 126 patients with rAAA. Primary outcome was 30-day mortality. Potential confounding variables were age, sex, presurgical lowest recorded systolic blood pressure (SBP), and glomerular filtration rate (GFR). A logistic regression model incorporating significant confounders was used to evaluate changes in 30-day mortality for all patients with rAAA after introduction of the EVAR protocol. Separate logistic regressions were done to compare 30-day mortality for preprotocol vs patients receiving EVAR and preprotocol vs patients receiving postprotocol open repair. Cumulative sum (CUSUM) analysis was used to assess shifts in the performance of the rAAA program over time.
Significant confounders were SBP, absence of SBP, and GFR. Logistic regression found evidence of lower mortality after the protocol was introduced, 17.9% vs 30.0% (odds ratio [OR], 0.385; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.141 to 0.981; P = .046). Comparison of all open repairs (preprotocol and postprotocol) and EVAR demonstrated decreased risk for EVAR of 5.0% vs 28.3% (OR, 0.109; 95% CI, 0.013 to 0.906; P = .0084). Unstable patients (SBP