Multicenter experience of upper extremity access in complex endovascular aortic aneurysm repair

Max M. Meertens, Joost A. van Herwaarden, Jean Paul P.M. de Vries, Hence J.M. Verhagen, Maarten J. van der Laan, Michel M.P.J. Reijnen, Geert W.H. Schurink, Barend M.E. Mees*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: Upper extremity access (UEA) for antegrade cannulation of aortic side branches is a relevant part of endovascular treatment of complex aortic aneurysms and can be achieved using several techniques, sites, and sides. The purpose of this study was to evaluate different UEA strategies in a multicenter registry of complex endovascular aortic aneurysm repair (EVAR). Methods: In six aortic centers in the Netherlands, all endovascular aortic procedures from 2006 to 2019 were retrospectively reviewed. Patients who received UEA during complex EVAR were included. The primary outcome was a composite end point of any access complication, excluding minor hematomas. Secondary outcomes were access characteristics, access complications considered individually, access reinterventions, and incidence of ischemic cerebrovascular events. Results: A total of 417 patients underwent 437 UEA for 303 fenestrated/branched EVARs and 114 chimney EVARs. Twenty patients had bilateral, 295 left-sided, and 102 right-sided UEA. A total of 413 approaches were performed surgically and 24 percutaneously. Distal brachial access (DBA) was used in 89 cases, medial brachial access (MBA) in 149, proximal brachial access (PBA) in 140, and axillary access (AA) in 59 cases. No significant differences regarding the composite end point of access complications were seen (DBA: 11.3% vs MBA: 6.7% vs PBA: 13.6% vs AA: 10.2%; P =.29). Postoperative neuropathy occurred most after PBA (DBA: 1.1% vs MBA: 1.3% vs PBA: 9.3% vs AA: 5.1%; P =.003). There were no differences in cerebrovascular complications between access sides (right: 5.9% vs left: 4.1% vs bilateral: 5%; P =.75). Significantly more overall access complications were seen after a percutaneous approach (29.2% vs 6.8%; P =.002). In multivariate analysis, the risk for access complications after an open approach was decreased by male sex (odds ratio [OR]: 0.27; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.10-0.72; P =.009), whereas an increase in age per year (OR: 1.08; 95% CI: 1.004-1.179; P =.039) and diabetes mellitus type 2 (OR: 3.70; 95% CI: 1.20-11.41; P =.023) increased the risk. Conclusions: Between the four access localizations, there were no differences in overall access complications. Female sex, diabetes mellitus type 2, and aging increased the risk for access complications after a surgical approach. Furthermore, a percutaneous UEA resulted in higher complication rates than a surgical approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1150-1159
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2022

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