Readmission and Utilization After Repair of Ruptured Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms in the United States

Research paper by Drew J. Braet, John P. Taaffe, Priyanka Singh, Jonathan Bath, Robin L. Kruse, Todd R. Vogel

Indexed on: 29 Dec '20Published on: 23 Dec '20Published in: Vascular and endovascular surgery


Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Ahead of Print. Objectives:Endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) has emerged as a less invasive alternative to open repair for ruptured Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms (rAAA), but comparisons to traditional open rAAA repair and late complications leading to readmission are limited.Materials and Methods:Hospitalizations for patients undergoing repair for rAAA were selected from the Nationwide Readmissions Database (NRD). In-hospital mortality, complications, 30-day readmission, readmission diagnoses, and charges were evaluated. Design-adjusted chi-square, Wilcoxon test, and logistic regression were used for analysis.Results:During 2014-2016, 3,629 open rAAA and 5,037 EVAR were identified. The index mortality rate was 21.4% for EVAR vs. 33.5% for open (p < .0001). Median index length of stay (LOS) was 4.9 days for EVAR vs. 8.6 days for open repair (p < 0.001). All-cause 30-day readmission after rAAA was higher following EVAR (18.9%) than open (14.3%, p = .007). Time to readmission and charges for readmission stays did not differ between procedure groups. Respiratory complications were more common following open repair than EVAR (20.4% vs 11.4%, respectively; p = .008). Patients who underwent open repair suffered more infectious complications than patients treated with EVAR during readmission (49.2% vs 39.8%, respectively; p = 0.054). In multivariable analysis, factors associated with readmission included having EVAR during the index stay (Odds ratio [OR] = 1.46, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.14-1.88; p = .003), increased length of index stay (OR = 1.01; 95% CI 1.01-1.02; p = 0.002), chronic kidney disease (OR = 1.51; 95% CI 1.18-1.94; p = .001), and coronary artery disease (OR = 1.32; 95% CI 1.02-1.71; p = .034). Aggregate readmission charges totaled $79 million. Readmissions were most often infectious complications for both repair types.Conclusions:EVAR was used more often than open repair for rAAA. In-hospital mortality and length of the index stay were significantly lower following EVAR. After multivariable adjustment, the odds of readmission were 1.5 times higher after EVAR, costing the health system more over time when prevalence and readmission are considered. Coronary artery disease, chronic kidney disease, and index length of stay were also associated with 30-day readmission. Further investigation into reasons why a less invasive procedure, EVAR, has a higher readmission rate and understanding post-discharge infectious complications may help lower overall health care utilization after rAAA.