The impact of patient age and aortic size on the results of aortobifemoral bypass grafting

Amy B. Reed, Michael S. Conte, Magruder C. Donaldson, John A. Mannick, Anthony D. Whittemore, Michael Belkin

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78 Scopus citations


Objectives: On the basis of the widespread belief that aortobifemoral bypass (ABF) represents the optimal mode of revascularization for patients with diffuse aortoiliac disease, vascular surgeons are often aggressive about its application in young adults. We undertook this retrospective evaluation of ABFs performed from 1980 to 1999 to determine whether the results justify this approach. Patients of less than 50 years of age (n = 45) were compared with those aged 50 to 59 years (n = 93) and those aged more than 60 years (n = 146). Results: Younger patients were more likely to undergo operation for claudication than were older patients (72% versus 59% and 55%; P < .04). Younger patients were significantly more likely to be smokers (87%) but less likely to have diabetes, hypertension, or cerebrovascular disease. Bypasses were constructed in an end-to-end fashion in 71.1% of patients of less than 50 years versus 68.8% and 71.2% of older patients (P = not significant). The mean diameter of aortic grafts was significantly smaller in younger patients (14.6 mm) than in older patients (15.6 mm and 15.5 mm; P < .01). The need for a subsequent infrainguinal reconstruction was highest in the youngest patients (24% versus 17% and 7%; P < .01). Surgical mortality rates were low in all groups (0%, 1%, and 2.0% for increasing age groups; P = not significant). Five-year primary and secondary patency rates increased significantly with each increase in age interval: 5-year primary patency rate: less than 50 years, 66% ± 8%; 50 to 59 years, 87% ± 5%; more than 60 years, 96% ±2% (P < .05 for all comparisons). Five-year secondary patency rates were: less than 50 years, 79% ± 7%; 50 to 59 years, 91% ± 4%; more than 60 years, 98% ± 2% (P < .05 for all comparisons). Five-year survival rate was comparable in all three groups: less than 50 years, 93% ± 5%; 50 to 59 years, 92% ± 4%; more than 60 years, 87% ± 4% (P = not significant). Conclusion: Increased virulence of aortic disease, smaller aortic size, and more progressive infrainguinal disease may all negatively impact the results of ABF in younger patients. Although 5-year results are acceptable, increased caution is warranted in the routine application of ABF in young patients without limb-threatening ischemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1219-1225
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of vascular surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2003
Externally publishedYes


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