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BACKGROUND: Endovascular repair of abdominal aortic aneurysm was originally developed for patients who were considered to be physically ineligible for open surgical repair. Data are lacking on the question of whether endovascular repair reduces the rate of death among these patients. METHODS: From 1999 through 2004 at 33 hospitals in the United Kingdom, we randomly assigned 404 patients with large abdominal aortic aneurysms (> or = 5.5 cm in diameter) who were considered to be physically ineligible for open repair to undergo either endovascular repair or no repair; 197 patients were assigned to undergo endovascular repair, and 207 were assigned to have no intervention. Patients were followed for rates of death, graft-related complications and reinterventions, and costs until the end of 2009. Cox regression was used to compare outcomes in the two groups. RESULTS: The 30-day operative mortality was 7.3% in the endovascular-repair group. The overall rate of aneurysm rupture in the no-intervention group was 12.4 (95% confidence interval [CI], 9.6 to 16.2) per 100 person-years. Aneurysm-related mortality was lower in the endovascular-repair group (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.32 to 0.89; P=0.02). This advantage did not result in any benefit in terms of total mortality (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.78 to 1.27; P=0.97). A total of 48% of patients who survived endovascular repair had graft-related complications, and 27% required reintervention within the first 6 years. During 8 years of follow-up, endovascular repair was considerably more expensive than no repair (cost difference, 9,826 pounds sterling [U.S. $14,867]; 95% CI, 7,638 to 12,013 [11,556 to 18,176]). CONCLUSIONS: In this randomized trial involving patients who were physically ineligible for open repair, endovascular repair of abdominal aortic aneurysm was associated with a significantly lower rate of aneurysm-related mortality than no repair. However, endovascular repair was not associated with a reduction in the rate of death from any cause. The rates of graft-related complications and reinterventions were higher with endovascular repair, and it was more costly. (Current Controlled Trials number, ISRCTN55703451.)

Original publication




Journal article


N Engl J Med

Publication Date





1872 - 1880


Aged, Angioplasty, Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal, Blood Vessel Prosthesis, Blood Vessel Prosthesis Implantation, Cause of Death, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Kaplan-Meier Estimate, Male, Proportional Hazards Models, Reoperation, Vascular Surgical Procedures