Totally percutaneous versus standard femoral artery access for elective bifurcated abdominal endovascular aneurysm repair

  • Review
  • Intervention

Authors


Abstract

Background

Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) are a vascular condition with significant risk attached, particularly if they rupture. It is, therefore, critical to identify and repair these as an elective procedure before they rupture and require emergency surgery. Repair has traditionally been an open surgical technique that required a large incision across the abdomen. More recently endovascular aneurysm repairs (EVARs) have become a common alternative. In this procedure, the common femoral artery is exposed via a cut-down approach and a graft is introduced to the aneurysm in this way. This review examines a totally percutaneous approach to EVAR. This technique gives a minimally invasive approach to femoral artery access that may reduce groin wound complication rates and improve recovery time. The technique may, however, be less applicable in patients with, for example, groin scarring or arterial calcification.

Objectives

This review aims to compare the clinical outcomes of percutaneous access with standard femoral artery access in elective bifurcated abdominal endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR).

Search methods

The Cochrane Peripheral Vascular Diseases Group Trials Search Co-ordinator searched their Specialised Register (last searched July 2013), CENTRAL (2013, Issue 6) and clinical trials databases. Reference lists of retrieved articles were checked.

Selection criteria

Only randomised controlled trials were considered. The primary intervention was a totally percutaneous endovascular repair. All device types were considered. This was compared against standard femoral artery endovascular repair. Only studies investigating elective repairs were considered. Studies reporting emergency surgery for a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm (rAAA) and those reporting aorto-uni-iliac repairs were excluded.

Data collection and analysis

All data were collected independently by two review authors. Owing to the small number of trials identified, no formal assessment of heterogeneity or sensitivity analysis was conducted.

Main results

Only one trial met the inclusion criteria, involving a total of 30 participants, 15 undergoing the percutaneous technique and 15 treated by the standard femoral cut-down approach. There were no significant differences between the two groups at baseline.

No mortality or failure of aneurysm exclusion was observed in either group. Three wound infections occurred in the standard femoral cut-down group, whereas none were observed in the percutaneous group. This was not statistically significant. Only one major complication was observed in the study, a conversion to the cut-down technique in the percutaneous access group. No long-term outcomes were reported. One episode of a bleeding complication was reported in the percutaneous group. Significant differences were detected in surgery time (percutaneous 86.7 ± 27 minutes versus conventional 107.8 ± 38.5 minutes; P < 0.05).

The included study had a small sample size and failed to report adequately the method of randomisation, allocation concealment and the pre-selected outcomes.

Authors' conclusions

Only one small study was identified, which did not provide adequate evidence to determine the efficacy and safety of the percutaneous approach compared with endovascular aneurysm repairs. This review has identified a clear need for further research into this potentially beneficial technique. One ongoing study was identified in the search, which may provide an improved evidence base in the future.

Résumé scientifique

Abord entièrement percutané versus abord standard de l'artère fémorale pour la réparation endovasculaire bifurquée élective d'anévrismes abdominaux

Contexte

Les anévrismes de l'aorte abdominale (AAA) sont une affection vasculaire aux risques significatifs, en particulier en cas de rupture. Il est donc essentiel de les identifier et les réparer par une procédure élective avant leur rupture nécessitant une intervention chirurgicale d'urgence. La réparation s'est traditionnellement faite par une technique de chirurgie ouverte nécessitant une grande incision en travers de l'abdomen. Plus récemment, la réparation endovasculaire de l'anévrisme (EVAR) est devenue une alternative courante. Dans cette procédure, l'artère fémorale commune est exposée par dissection veineuse et un endoprothèse est introduit dans l'anévrisme par ce biais. Cette revue examine une approche entièrement percutanée de l'EVAR. Cette technique offre une approche mini-invasive pour l'abord de l'artère fémorale qui pourrait réduire les taux de complication de la plaie à l'aine et améliorer le temps de récupération. Cette technique peut cependant être moins applicable chez les patients avec une cicatrisation à l'aine, par exemple, ou une calcification artérielle.

Objectifs

Cette revue vise à comparer les résultats cliniques de l'abord percutané avec l'abord standard de l'artère fémorale dans la réparation endovasculaire bifurquée élective d'anévrismes abdominaux (EVAR).

Stratégie de recherche documentaire

Le co-ordinateur de la recherche d'essais du groupe Cochrane sur les maladies vasculaires périphériques a effectué des recherches dans son registre spécialisé (dernière recherche en juillet 2013), CENTRAL (2013, numéro 6) et les bases de données d'essais cliniques. Les références bibliographiques des articles trouvés ont été examinées.

Critères de sélection

Seuls les essais contrôlés randomisés ont été pris en compte. L'intervention principale était une réparation endovasculaire totalement percutanée. Tous types de dispositifs ont été pris en compte. Cette intervention était comparée à la réparation endovasculaire standard par l'artère fémorale. Seules les études examinant des réparations électives ont été pris en compte. Les études portant sur la chirurgie d'urgence pour une rupture de l'anévrisme de l'aorte abdominale (RAAA) et sur la réparation aorto-uni-iliaque ont été exclues.

Recueil et analyse des données

Toutes les données ont été recueillies de manière indépendante par deux auteurs de la revue. En raison du faible nombre d'essais identifiés, aucune évaluation formelle des analyses d'hétérogénéité ou de sensibilité n'a été effectuée.

Résultats principaux

Un seul essai remplissait les critères d'inclusion, portant sur un total de 30 participants, 15 subissant la technique percutanéeet et 15 l'approche standard de dissection de l'artère fémorale. Il n'y avait aucune différence significative entre les deux groupes au départ.

Aucune mortalité ni échec de l'exclusion de l'anévrisme n'a été observé dans aucun des deux groupes. Trois infections de la plaie sont survenues dans le groupe de dissection standard de l'artère fémorale, alors qu'aucune n'a été observée dans le groupe percutané. Cela n'était pas statistiquement significatif. Une seule complication majeure a été observée dans l'étude, une conversion à la technique de dissection veineuse dans le groupe d'abord percutané. Aucun critère de jugement à long terme n'était rapporté. Un épisode de complication hémorragique a été signalé dans le groupe percutané. Des différences significatives ont été observées dans la durée de l'opération (technique percutanée 86,7 ± 27 minutes versus conventionnelle 107,8 ± 38,5 minutes ; P < 0,05).

L'étude incluse avait un petit effectif et ne rendait pas compte de manière approppriée de la méthode de randomisation, de l'assignation secrète et des critères de jugement pré-sélectionnés.

Conclusions des auteurs

Une seule petite étude a été identifiée, qui n'a pas fourni de preuves adéquates pour déterminer l'efficacité et l'innocuité de l'approche percutanée par rapport à la réparation endovasculaire standard de l'anévrisme. Cette revue a identifié un besoin évident pour d'autres recherches sur cette technique potentiellement bénéfique. Une étude en cours a été identifiée par la recherche, qui pourrait fournir de meilleures preuves à l'avenir.

Plain language summary

Skin puncture versus exposing the femoral artery for minimally invasive repairs of abdominal aortic aneurysms

Abdominal aortic aneurysms are a ballooning of the largest blood vessel in the abdomen, the abdominal aorta, due to weakness of the vessel wall. This ballooning may lead to life threatening rupture. Repair of the aneurysm is recommended if it is felt to pose a significant risk. All repairs involve putting in an artifical graft, a tube composed of fabric, to help reinforce the artery wall. There are two main methods for repair. One is an open technique in which the whole abdomen is opened and the graft is put inside the blood vessel. The other technique is an endovascular aneurysm repair. With this technique the graft is fed into the abdominal aorta through an artery in the groin (the femoral artery) and it avoids the large abdominal incision. This review looked at an alternative method for introducing the graft into the femoral artery, percutaneous access. Instead of making an incision in the groin to expose the femoral artery (a cut-down), a small hole is made in the skin and then a needle with a plastic tube sitting over it is introduced into the femoral artery. Once introduced, the needle can be pulled back up the tube leaving the tube in place in the artery. The graft and all other materials can then be fed into the artery via the plastic tube. Once the procedure is complete the tube can be withdrawn. The surface incision can usually be closed with one stitch.

This review found only one study which compared the cut-down technique of endovascular repair with the percutaneous technique. The study had 30 participants; 15 underwent the cut-down technique and 15 the percutaneous technique. No one died during the study and the procedure was successful in all participants. However, for one participant the surgery had to be changed from percutaneous access to the cut-down technique, and one participant undergoing the percutaneous surgery had to have the artery repaired surgically due to continued bleeding. The surgery took less time in the percutaneous group compared with the cut-down group (87 minutes versus 108 minutes). There were no other significant differences found in the study.

The included study did not report on the methods of randomisation, how the randomisation was concealed and the pre-selected outcomes of interest.

This one study did not provide enough data and no firm conclusions could be drawn from it. Larger studies are needed to provide us with more data. The review indicates that the new technique might be a good option for some patients but more research is needed.

Résumé simplifié

Ponction cutanée comparée à l'exposition de l'artère fémorale pour la réparation mini-invasive des anévrismes de l'aorte abdominale

L'anévrisme aortique abdominal est un ballonnement du plus grand vaisseau sanguin de l'abdomen, l'aorte abdominale, en raison d'un affaiblissement de la paroi du vaisseau. Ce ballonnement peut entraîner une rupture engageant le pronostic vital. La réparation de l'anévrisme est recommandée si le risque qu'il pose est considéré significatif. Toute réparation implique la pose d'un greffon artificiel, un tube en tissu, pour aider à renforcer la paroi artérielle. Il existe deux méthodes principales pour la réparation. La première est une technique ouverte dans laquelle l'abdomen entier est ouvert et le greffon est placé à l'intérieur du vaisseau sanguin. L'autre technique est la réparation endovasculaire de l'anévrisme. Avec cette technique, le greffon est introduit dans l'aorte abdominale par une artère située dans l'aine (l'artère fémorale), permettant d'éviter la grande incision abdominale. Cette revue a examiné une méthode alternative pour l'introduction du greffon dans l'artère fémorale, l'accès percutané. Au lieu d'une incision dans l'aine pour exposer l'artère fémorale (dissection veineuse), un petit orifice est pratiqué dans la peau et ensuite une aiguille avec un tube en plastique par-dessus est introduite dans l'artère fémorale. Après avoir été introduite, l'aiguille peut être retirée par le tube, laissant le tube en place dans l'artère. Le greffon et tous les autres matériaux peuvent ensuite être introduits dans l'artère via le tube en plastique. Une fois la procédure complétée, le tube peut être retiré. L'incision en surface peut généralement être refermée avec juste un point de suture.

Cette revue n'a trouvé qu'une étude comparant la technique de dissection veineuse et la technique percutanée dans la réparation endovasculaire. L'étude portait sur 30 participants, dont 15 ont subi la technique de dissection veineuse et 15 autres la technique percutanée. Personne n'est décédée pendant l'étude et la procédure a été efficace chez tous les participants. Cependant, pour un participant la chirurgie par accès percutané a dû être remplacée par la technique de dissection veineuse, et pour un participant subissant la chirurgie par voie percutanée, l'artère a dû être réparée chirurgicalement en raison d'un saignement continu. La chirurgie a pris moins de temps dans le groupe percutané par rapport au groupe de dissection (87 minutes contre 108 minutes). L'étude n'a pas mis en évidence d'autre différence significative.

L'étude incluse n'a pas rendu compte des méthodes de randomisation ou d'assignation sacrète, ni des critères de jugement pré-sélectionnés.

Cette étude ne fournissait pas suffisamment de données et aucune conclusion définitive n'a pu en être tirée. Des études à plus grande échelle sont nécessaires pour fournir des données supplémentaires. La revue indique que la nouvelle technique pourrait être une bonne option pour certains patients, mais des recherches supplémentaires sont nécessaires.

Notes de traduction

Traduit par: French Cochrane Centre 15th June, 2014
Traduction financée par: Financeurs pour le Canada : Instituts de Recherche en Santé du Canada, Ministère de la Santé et des Services Sociaux du Québec, Fonds de recherche du Québec-Santé et Institut National d'Excellence en Santé et en Services Sociaux; pour la France : Ministère en charge de la Santé

Background

Description of the condition

Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) are a vascular condition with significant risk attached to them. If left untreated there is a high risk of rupture, which carries an approximately 80% risk of mortality (Chambers 2009). It is therefore critical to identify and repair these aneurysms as an elective procedure before they rupture and require emergency surgery.

The prevalence of AAAs in men in the UK has been estimated to range from 1.3% to 8.4% (Lucarotti 1993) depending on the criteria used to define an AAA. Meanwhile studies have consistently shown women to have a far lower prevalence (Fowkes 1989; Scott 1995). In Scott 1995 1.3% of women were found to have AAAs compared to 7.6% of men. The incidence according to hospital records in Scotland, between 1971 and 1984, was 63.6 per 100,000 people per year (Naylor 1988).

Description of the intervention

Repair has traditionally been an open surgical repair, which required a large incision across the abdomen to allow clear access to the aorta so that the damaged section could be repaired by the insertion of a prosthetic graft. However, in 1991 Parodi et al reported their initial experiences with what they described as a transfemoral intraluminal graft (Parodi 1991). This rapidly developed into what we now refer to as endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR).

In this procedure the common femoral arteries are exposed via incisions in each groin, and guidewires and access sheaths are introduced. The components of the endovascular graft are then advanced over the guidewires and deployed under radiographic control. Angiography is used to confirm satisfactory deployment of the prosthesis and exclusion of the aneurysm sac, following which all catheters, sheaths and guidewires are removed. The defects in the femoral arteries are surgically repaired and the cut-down incisions closed (Rutherford 2005).

EVARs and open repairs are now the two primary forms of treatment for AAAs. EVAR has grown rapidly in popularity and in the US, since 2003, has accounted for the majority of procedures taking place (Schwarze 2009).

More recently, however, further advances have taken place potentially allowing for a wholly percutaneous approach. This approach was reported as early as 1999 (Papazoglou 1999). Since then the technique has developed with the use of several different suture-mediated closure devices being reported in the literature. The Prostar XL (Abbott) is the most common device, being the only device with formal approval for use in EVAR (Malkawi 2010). Studies have also reported the off-label use of the Proglide system (Abbott) for closure (Dosluoglu 2007).

The most common technique employed is the pre-close technique. Access is gained to the common femoral artery and the initial sheath is then replaced by a percutaneous closure device over a guidewire. The major difference in this technique from percutaneous techniques used in other procedures is the deployment of a suture-mediated closure device at the start of the procedure. This allows the arteriotomy to be enlarged, enabling the insertion of sheaths of a larger size and allowing the EVAR to be conducted normally. At the conclusion of the repair the sheath is then removed with the use of a knot pusher, aiding closure. The final wound is closed using a single suture or tape. Some variations of this technique exist at different centres and with the use of different devices (Lee 2008; Malkawi 2010; Watelet 2006).

How the intervention might work

The stent-grafts used and the manner in which they achieve aneurysm exclusion are identical to the already widely used EVAR techniques. As such, many of the long-term complications are similar.

The key differences are the initial arterial access, wound closure and the use of a percutaneous suture-mediated closure device during surgery. One concern that has been identified with EVAR procedures is the continued problem of wound closure, which a number of studies have examined (Dalainas 2004; Faries 2002). As the percutaneous approach is less invasive, and results in a smaller final wound closure, it may help to address this problem. Wound infection rates with the use of percutaneous closure devices have been reported to be as low as 0.2% (Watelet 2006) compared with 2% in standard femoral artery access (Slappy 2003).

Some patients may be at risk of problems with arterial access using this intervention. These include patients with calcification of the femoral artery, groin scarring or an inguinal arterial prosthesis, morbid obesity and small or tortuous arterial iliac arteries (Traul 2000; Watelet 2006). This makes patient selection key to the initial success of the procedure. In addition, the percutaneous technique may not always achieve adequate haemostasis (Torsello 2003) and there may be increased risk of bleeding and haematoma formation with a need to convert to a conventional cut-down approach.

Why it is important to do this review

It has been suggested that a totally percutaneous approach to EVAR offers a less invasive treatment with faster recovery and reduced wound infection rates than with standard femoral artery access. This hypothesis must be tested by a robust systematic review as this would make percutaneous access a preferable choice for many surgical interventions. In addition, in the review we will aim to demonstrate the efficacy and safety of percutaneous access as an alternative procedure and highlight any shortcomings in the technique. This review is important to allow clinicians to make a more informed decision when deciding on the appropriate technique for each individual patient.

Objectives

This review aims to compare the clinical outcomes of percutaneous access with standard femoral artery access in elective bifurcated abdominal endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR).

Methods

Criteria for considering studies for this review

Types of studies

Only randomised controlled trials (RCTs) were considered for evaluation. Cross-over trials would have been included, with only the first phase results considered, but none were identified.

Types of participants

All patients diagnosed with an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), which had been visualised using either computed tomography (CT) or ultrasonography, were included in the review.

Only patients undergoing elective repairs were considered. Patients undergoing emergency surgery for a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm (rAAA) and those undergoing aorto-uni-iliac repairs were excluded.

Types of interventions

The primary intervention was a totally percutaneous endovascular repair. All device types were considered. This was compared against standard femoral artery access for endovascular repair.

Types of outcome measures

Primary outcomes
  1. Short-term mortality rates (30-day or in-hospital, i.e. procedure related)

  2. Aneurysm exclusion (no flow into the abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) sac on follow-up imaging) 30 days after the procedure

  3. Wound infection rate (30-day or in-hospital)

Secondary outcomes
  1. Major complications, e.g. myocardial infarction, stroke, renal failure, respiratory failure, lower limb ischaemia, pneumonia, technical failure, or conversion to alternative technique (30-day or in-hospital)

  2. Long-term (12 months) complications and mortality (re-intervention rates, device-related complications, cause of death)

  3. Bleeding complications and haematoma

  4. Operating time and duration of intensive treatment unit (ITU) stay

With regard to the primary outcomes mortality and aneurysm exclusion, the studies were required to show at least equivalence and not necessarily superiority over standard EVAR as percutaneous interventions may still be preferable if there are fewer wound problems and length of hospital stay is reduced.

Search methods for identification of studies

We did not impose any restriction on language of publication or publication status.

Electronic searches

The Cochrane Peripheral Vascular Diseases Group Trials Search Co-ordinator (TSC) searched their Specialised Register (last searched July 2013) and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (2013, Issue 6), part of The Cochrane Library (www.thecochranelibrary.com). See Appendix 1 for details of the search strategy used to search CENTRAL. The Specialised Register is maintained by the TSC and is constructed from weekly electronic searches of MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, AMED, and through handsearching relevant journals. The full list of the databases, journals and conference proceedings which have been searched, as well as the search strategies used, are described in the Specialised Register section of the Cochrane Peripheral Vascular Diseases Group module in The Cochrane Library (www.thecochranelibrary.com).

The TSC searched the following trial databases (July 2013) for details of ongoing and unpublished studies using the terms percutaneous and aneurysm:

Searching other resources

Reference lists of retrieved articles were checked.

Data collection and analysis

Data collection and analysis were conducted in accordance with the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions (Higgins 2011).

Selection of studies

One review author scanned the titles and abstracts of retrieved articles, excluding irrelevant studies. Those studies deemed relevant were retrieved in full. Two review authors then independently assessed the full-text articles for suitability for inclusion. All disagreements were successfully resolved by consensus.

Data extraction and management

Data from the included studies were extracted independently by two review authors using a data extraction form. No discrepancies were found but had there been these would have been resolved by consensus. If necessary, review authors would have been contacted for clarification.

Assessment of risk of bias in included studies

The included studies were assessed for risk of bias using the Cochrane Collaboration’s tool for assessing risk of bias (Higgins 2011). This tool covers sequence generation, allocation concealment, blinding of participants and personnel, blinding of outcome assessment, incomplete outcome data, selective outcome reporting, and other sources of bias. Each of these domains was assessed as either high, low or unclear risk of bias with we provided support for each judgement. Conclusions were presented in a risk of bias table.

Measures of treatment effect

We planned to measure the treatment effect according to the statistical guidelines recommended by the Cochrane Peripheral Vascular Diseases (PVD) Group. For dichotomous data, risk ratios (RRs) would have been used as the measure of effect. Continuous data were to be analysed in a continuous form (that is mean difference). If similar outcomes were reported on different scales the standardised mean difference would have been calculated.

Unit of analysis issues

The primary analysis was per individual randomised. No cross-over trials were identified but if they had been only the first phase data would have been included.

Dealing with missing data

No data were found to be missing. However, had data been missing we would have contacted the study authors to request missing data as the first step. If this was unsuccessful we would assess whether the data were missing at random. If this was found to be the case we would have excluded the missing data from the review. If the data were found not to be missing at random then we would have undertaken imputation of individual values and explored its impact in the final discussion.

Assessment of heterogeneity

The intention was to consider clinical sources of heterogeneity. We would have statistically assessed the heterogeneity using the Chi2 test and I2 statistic. No fixed cut-off was to be applied but significant heterogeneity would have been discussed.

Assessment of reporting biases

The single best step undertaken to minimise reporting bias was a full and comprehensive search encompassing both published and grey literature, whilst being aware of duplication of data. Had more than 10 studies been included within the final analysis we would have used a funnel plot to explore small study effects.

Data synthesis

Where sufficient data were available a summary statistic for each outcome, using a random-effects model, was to be generated.

Subgroup analysis and investigation of heterogeneity

No subgroup analyses were planned or performed owing to the small pool of results.

Sensitivity analysis

We intended to carry out sensitivity analyses to explore the robustness of the conclusions reached. These would have examined a number of factors, including study quality and risk of bias, data source (published or unpublished), and any other analyses which might have appeared significant upon completion of the review.

Results

Description of studies

See Characteristics of included studies; Characteristics of excluded studies.

Results of the search

See Figure 1.

Figure 1.

Study flow diagram.

Included studies

The single study meeting the inclusion criteria was conducted in Germany and was a small randomised pilot study (Torsello 2003). It consisted of 30 participants (29 male, one female) aged 51 to 90 years (mean 72.9 ± 9.9 years). All patients presenting with an aortic aneurysm were considered, including those with calcification of the femoral artery, scars in the groin or obesity. The exclusion criteria included patients with psychiatric conditions, those undergoing the implantation of an aorto-mono-iliac graft, and patients with an aneurysm of the femoral artery. Aneurysms were repaired using either the Zenith graft (Cook, Bloomington, Indiana) (n = 16) or using the Talent endovascular graft (Medtronic, Sunrise, Florida) (n = 14), although the paper failed to describe how these different grafts were distributed among the treatment arms.

In participants undergoing the percutaneous procedure (n = 15), a 10F Prostar XL percutaneous vascular surgery device (Perclose, Redwood City, California) was used in the 'pre-close' technique for closure of the access site. For participants undergoing surgical cut-down (n = 15), a transverse groin incision was made to expose the common femoral artery for direct needle puncture. All participants received 5000 IU of heparin after sheath insertion. Duplex ultrasound scanning was performed before and after the procedure. The paper did not explicitly state which outcomes had been selected but reported a wide range of outcomes, including time of surgery, mortality and major complications.

Excluded studies

We excluded four studies. One trial did not include the primary intervention (Hattab 2012). Three trials were non-randomised (Jean-Baptiste 2008; Krajcer 2010; Xiong 2012).

One further study was identified with two associated publications. One paper was a conference presentation that contained insufficient information for inclusion. The second publication detailed a non-randomised pilot phase of the same study. The study, however, appeared to meet this review's inclusion criteria and may have been a valuable addition. We attempted to contact both study authors and the study sponsors as listed in ClinicalTrials.gov but no response was received. As the study is still ongoing it has been classified as an ongoing study (NCT01070069); future reviews should be aware of its existence and aim to identify whether the results have subsequently been published.

Risk of bias in included studies

See Figure 2.

Figure 2.

Risk of bias summary: review authors' judgements about each risk of bias item for each included study.

Allocation

Torsello 2003 failed to report either its method of randomisation or allocation concealment. This made it impossible to make a formal judgement on the risk of bias generated.

Blinding

The Torsello 2003 study was not blinded in any way. However, this is unlikely to have greatly affected the risk of bias as the outcomes selected by the paper's authors were not susceptible to bias from a lack of blinding.

Incomplete outcome data

Torsello 2003 had complete follow-up of all participants and minimal risk of attrition bias.

Selective reporting

Torsello 2003 failed to outline its selected outcomes and therefore it was prone to a higher risk of bias due to selective reporting of the results. However, major outcomes identified by this review appeared to have been reported.

Other potential sources of bias

No other potential sources of bias were identified.

Effects of interventions

Primary outcomes

Torsello 2003 recorded no short-term or operative mortality or aneurysm exclusion in either group. Wound infections occurred in three patients in the cut-down group, with none in the percutaneous access group. This was assessed as not statistically significant by the study authors (the P value was not reported by the study authors but was calculated by the review authors as P = 0.17).

Secondary outcomes

The endovascular repair was successful in all cases but it should be noted that one participant in the percutaneous endovascular repair group required conversion to a standard cut-down incision, which would be classified as a major complication within our outcomes. This was the only major complication recorded and this outcome difference was not assessed as statistically significant by the study authors. Torsello 2003 only included in-hospital data and did not report any long-term complications or mortality.

One incident of a bleeding-related complication was observed, necessitating surgical repair to the access artery. This was assessed as not statistically significant. There was no significant difference in blood loss between either group.

Significant differences were detected in surgery or operating time (percutaneous 86.7 ± 27 minutes versus conventional 107.8 ± 38.5 minutes; P < 0.05). Torsello 2003 did not report on duration of ITU stay.

Although not a predefined outcome of this review, Torsello 2003 also reported on the costs of the percutaneous and conventional interventions. A statistically significantly higher cost of percutaneous interventions (percutaneous EUR 474.7 ± 109.7 versus conventional EUR 375.5 ± 153.3; P < 0.01) was identified.

Discussion

Summary of main results

This review provides some useful information regarding percutaneous EVAR procedures but does not provide conclusive evidence. With regard to the primary outcomes mortality and aneurysm exclusion, studies were required to show at least equivalence and not necessarily superiority over standard EVAR as percutaneous interventions may still be preferable if there are fewer wound problems and reduced length of hospital stay. The single included study (Torsello 2003) recorded no operative mortality and successful endovascular repair, with only one percutaneous repair being converted to a cut-down approach. This gives an initial indication of safety and efficacy with regard to the percutaneous technique for endovascular aneurysm repairs. There was an increased number of bleeding-related complications within the percutaneous group but this was not statistically significant, and further research is required. The included study also highlighted some possible advantages, with a significantly shorter operating time representing a potential benefit. One identified shortcoming was the statistically significantly higher cost of percutaneous interventions. This was not one of the outcomes selected by this review and its validity in the current market cannot be confirmed given the age of the study. The results remain promising and provide a solid justification for further research.

Overall completeness and applicability of evidence

The single biggest limitation of this review is that only one study with a small sample size was included. This gives a total pool of only 30 participants for this review to examine. Clearly for a systematic review this is a very limited pool of participants and limits the widespread applicability of the results.

The review has identified an ongoing study (NCT01070069), which may be suitable for inclusion in future reviews and could greatly increase the pool of data available for analysis.

Quality of the evidence

Several limitations of the included study were identified, namely a failure to adequately report the method of randomisation, allocation concealment and the pre-selected outcomes. Although in general it was a study of moderate quality with complete follow-up of all included participants, it remains hampered by its small sample size as mentioned above.

Potential biases in the review process

The bias within the review process was minimised as far as possible. The most important aspect of this was a comprehensive literature search, encompassing grey literature as well as published sources. The review is limited by the number of studies included and as such no firm conclusions can be drawn. In the future, a further review should be conducted when a bigger pool of data from multiple larger studies can be identified. In addition, it may be beneficial to include a cost-related outcome in order to examine this as a potential disadvantage of the percutaneous approach compared to standard femoral artery access for abdominal aortic aneurysm repairs.

Agreements and disagreements with other studies or reviews

A previous review (Malkawi 2010) examined 22 papers (one randomised, 10 non-randomised and 11 retrospective studies). The review concluded that the percutaneous approach appears safe and effective with low access-related complications, but that further research is required to identify suitable candidates for the percutaneous approach. The review did not report bleeding-related complications and reached no firm conclusion on rates of blood loss. This broadly matches with the findings of the present review with regard to safety and efficacy. However, due to the nature of this review (only randomised controlled trials were included) the pool of data for this review was substantially smaller and as such no firm conclusions were reached.

Authors' conclusions

Implications for practice

Only one small study was identified. There are insufficient data to assess the effects of the percutaneous approach in comparison with endovascular aneurysm repairs. Possible benefits include a potentially shorter operating time and reduced wound infection rates. However, at this stage this has not been proven conclusively. In addition, potential drawbacks such as cost and bleeding complication risks must be examined.

Implications for research

This review has identified a clear need for further research into a potentially beneficial technique. The ongoing study identified in the search may provide an improved evidence base in the future and should be considered for inclusion in all future reviews, but further independent trials would also be helpful. The authors of future research and reviews may wish to examine a number of the areas identified within this review, namely differences in cost, operating time, wound infection rates, potential bleeding and haematoma complications and operative success. Measuring these, along with core issues such as mortality, could give a more complete picture of the possible benefits and drawbacks of the differing approaches to endovascular aneurysm repair and more fully inform future surgical decisions. In addition, if the technique is found to be effective in elective aneurysm repairs it may be considered in the future for the treatment of ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms.

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank all the staff at the Cochrane Peripheral Vascular Diseases Group for all their help, support and patience throughout this review process.

Data and analyses

Download statistical data

This review has no analyses.

Appendices

Appendix 1. CENTRAL search strategy

#1MeSH descriptor: [Stents] explode all trees3075
#2(*stent* or graft* or endograft* or endoprosthe*):ti,ab,kw41229
#3(powerlink or talent or excluder or aorfix or zenith or endologix or anaconda or Triascular or Cordis or Endurant or Quantum or Aneurx or Ancure):ti,ab,kw207
#4(*EVAR):ti,ab,kw87
#5MeSH descriptor: [Blood Vessel Prosthesis] explode all trees443
#6MeSH descriptor: [Blood Vessel Prosthesis Implantation] this term only486
#7endovascular:ti,ab,kw758
#8MeSH descriptor: [Vascular Surgical Procedures] this term only635
#9MeSH descriptor: [Endovascular Procedures] explode all trees5635
#10#1 or #2 or #3 or #4 or #5 or #6 or #7 or #8 or #945659
#11MeSH descriptor: [Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal] explode all trees549
#12aneurysm* near/4 (abdom* or thoracoabdom* or thoraco-abdom* or aort*)1053
#13AAA:ti,ab,kw232
#14(aort* near/3 (ballon* or dilat* or bulg* or expan*))74
#15#11 or #12 or #13 or #141121
#16MeSH descriptor: [Femoral Artery] explode all trees and with qualifiers: [Surgery - SU]232
#17percutan*7070
#18prostar*19
#19proglide*8
#20perclose or preclose22
#21intuitrak1
#22#16 or #17 or #18 or #19 or #20 or #21 in Trials5501
#23#10 and #15 and #22 in Trials15

Contributions of authors

Alexander Jackson (AJ): was responsible for drafting the protocol, trial selection, data extraction, data analysis, and writing the draft review.
Su Ern Yeoh (SEY): was responsible for trial selection and data extraction.
Mike Clarke (MC): was responsible for reviewing the draft protocol and draft review.

Declarations of interest

None known

Sources of support

Internal sources

  • No sources of support supplied

External sources

  • Chief Scientist Office, Scottish Government Health Directorates, The Scottish Government, UK.

    The PVD Group editorial base is supported by the Chief Scientist Office.

  • National Insitute for Health Research (NIHR), UK.

    The PVD Group editorial base is supported by a programme grant from the NIHR.

Differences between protocol and review

The outcome 'Bleeding complications and haematoma' has been added.

Characteristics of studies

Characteristics of included studies [ordered by study ID]

Torsello 2003

Methods

Study design: randomised controlled trial

Method of randomisation: not reported

Concealment of allocation: unblinded

Participants

Country: Germany

No: 30

Age: 51 - 90 years (mean 72.9 ± 9.9 years)

Sex: 29 male, 1 female

Inclusion criteria: All patients presenting with an aortic aneurysm were considered, including those with calcification of femoral artery, scars in the groin or obesity

Exclusion criteria: Patients with psychiatric conditions, those undergoing the implantation of an aorto-mono-iliac graft and patients with an aneurysm of the femoral artery

Interventions

Aneurysms were repaired using either the Zenith graft (Cook, Bloomington, Ind), n = 16, or using the Talent endovascular graft (Medtronic, Sunrise, Fla), n = 14.

Percutaneous access, n = 15. In these patients a 10F Prostar XL percutaneous vascular surgery device (Perclose, Redwood City, Calif) was used in the pre-close technique for closure of the access site.

Surgical cut-down, n = 15. In these patients a transverse groin incision was made to expose the common femoral artery for direct needle puncture.

All patients received 5000 IU of heparin after sheath insertion. Duplex ultrasound scanning was performed before and after the procedure.

OutcomesOutcomes: Operative success (the successful closure of the femoral artery following insertion of graft); in-hospital mortality and major complications; wound complications; re-intervention rate; blood loss; operative time and time to ambulation; total operative cost.
Notes 
Risk of bias
BiasAuthors' judgementSupport for judgement
Random sequence generation (selection bias)Unclear riskMethod of randomisation not reported
Allocation concealment (selection bias)Unclear riskAllocation concealment not reported and no details given
Blinding of participants and personnel (performance bias)
All outcomes
Unclear riskBlinding not possible due to nature of surgical interventions
Blinding of outcome assessment (detection bias)
All outcomes
Low riskUnlikely given the outcome measures used being objective in nature
Incomplete outcome data (attrition bias)
All outcomes
Low riskAll patients fully reported with no loss to follow-up due to small numbers and short time scale
Selective reporting (reporting bias)Unclear riskSelected outcomes not outlined making the paper more prone to selective reporting, however most major outcomes appear to have been reported
Other biasLow riskNo conflicts of interest reported

Characteristics of excluded studies [ordered by study ID]

StudyReason for exclusion
Hattab 2012Did not include primary intervention. Study only examined percutaneous closure devices not aneurysm repairs
Jean-Baptiste 2008Non-randomised
Krajcer 2010Non-randomised
Xiong 2012Non-randomised

Characteristics of ongoing studies [ordered by study ID]

NCT01070069

Trial name or titlePercutaneous Endovascular Aneurysm Repair (PEVAR) Trial
Methods

Study design: randomised controlled trial

Method of randomisation: not reported

Concealment of allocation: unblinded

Participants

Inclusion criteria:

- male or female at least 18 years old

- informed consent form understood and signed and patient agrees to all follow-up visits

- abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) with maximum diameter ≥ 5 cm, or in the range of 4 to 5 cm which has increased by 0.5 cm or more in the past six months

- have a suitable ipsilateral common femoral artery for percutaneous access using a 'Pre-close' technique as detailed in the protocol

- anatomically eligible for the IntuiTrak System per the FDA-approved indications for use (IFU)

Exclusion criteria:

Including: psychiatric condition, ruptured leaking or mycotic aneurysm, active systematic or localised groin infection, connective tissue disease. For full list of exclusion criteria see NCT01070069 record

InterventionsPatients with abdominal aortic aneurysm who are suitable candidates for endovascular repair using the IntuiTrak System and who meet the prospectively defined inclusion/exclusion criteria specific to the trial will be randomised to PEVAR or to standard EVAR using vascular exposure access in a ratio of 2:1. Physicians who are established experts in the field of percutaneous EVAR will participate in the trial.
Outcomes

Primary outcome measures:

- treatment success as defined as the composite of procedural technical success, absence of vascular complications, and absence of major adverse events as determined by the independent CEC

Secondary outcome measures:

- all serious and non-serious adverse events
- stent graft patency and integrity
- health-related quality of life survey

- clinical utility measures

Starting dateApril 2010
Contact informationEndologix, Abbott Vascular. No specific contact information provided
Notes 

Ancillary