Current guidelines do not recommend routine coronary evaluation preceding abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) repair in low-risk patients. The purpose of the present study is to report the incidence of coronary lesions in candidates for AAA repair with a Revised Cardiac Risk (Lee) Index (RCRI) < 2, which are usually excluded from preoperative cardiological work-up. Early-term and long-term results of prophylactic myocardial revascularization are also reported.
A retrospective, observational, cohort study collecting clinical data on a series of 149 consecutive patients undergoing preoperative coronary angiography and myocardial revascularization (percutaneous coronary intervention, PCI; coronary artery bypass grafting, CABG) before elective open or endovascular AAA repair (January 2005–December 2012).
Severe coronary artery disease (CAD) was revealed in 43 patients (28.9%), who underwent successful myocardial revascularization by means of PCI (n.35) or off-pump CABG (n.8). The incidence of severe CAD in patients resulted at low risk on the basis of risk models was approximately 25%. The incidence of severe CAD in asymptomatic patients was 29.8%. Endovascular (n.52, 35.1%) and open (n.96, 64.9%) AAA repair was performed with low morbidity (0.6%) and mortality (0.6%) in 148 patients. The long-term estimated survival (freedom from fatal cardiovascular events) was 97% at 60 months and 82% at 90 months.
The incidence of severe correctable CAD is not negligible in low-risk patients scheduled for AAA repair. Waiting for further recommendations based on large population studies of vascular patients, a more extensive indication to coronary angiography and revascularization should be considered in many candidates for AAA repair.