Worldwide, increasing proportions of aortic aneurysms are repaired electively via the endovascular route. The purpose of this study was to report the recent utilization of endovascular repair in Canada by reviewing a national administrative database.
The Canadian Institute for Health Information database (a collection of all acute care hospitalizations) was reviewed to identify patients who received nonemergent repair of an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) between April 1, 2003 and March 31, 2004. During this 1-year period, differentiation between endovascular (EVAR) and open repair was possible using ICD-10-CA procedural codes in eight of ten provinces. Case volumes, patient age, length of hospitalization, and mortality were stratified by method of repair, province, and size and teaching status of hospitals.
In this 1-year period, 1996 patients in eight provinces (representing 72% of Canada's population) underwent open repair (n = 1818, 91.1%) or EVAR (n = 178, 8.9%) of a nonruptured AAA. National utilization rates were 8.4 and 0.8 per 100,000 population for open repair and EVAR. These rates were more constant for EVAR (0 to 1.3) then for open repair (4 to 18.3) when analyzed on a provincial basis. Mean patient age did not differ between EVAR and open repair (73.7 vs 71.9 years, P = 0.4) while mean length of stay (5.8 vs 11.9 days, P = 0.03) and in-hospital mortality (0.6% vs 4.6%, P = .025) were significantly lower for EVAR than for open repair. Most EVAR (96%) and more than half of open repairs (56%) were performed in academic teaching centers.
Although EVAR results in significant reductions in length of hospitalization and early mortality, it continues to be underutilized in Canada compared with other national reports involving administrative databases.