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Endografts help prevent deaths from abdominal aortic aneurysms

NEW YORK A ruptured aneurysm in the abdominal aorta is one of the most challenging situations emergency medical physicians face--50 percent of the patients who make it to the emergency room cannot be saved. But a new, image-guided, endovascular surgical device called an endograft is giving emergency room physicians and vascular surgeons a promising alternative for treating ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms.

"Preliminary research shows that endografts may improve the treatment outcomes for abdominal aortic aneurysms," said David M. Williams, M.D., professor of radiology and division director of vascular and interventional radiology at the University of Michigan. "Studies have shown that, in select patients, the endovascular procedure results in less morbidity and mortality than conventional surgery."

The abdominal area is the most common location for an aneurysm, a weakening in the arterial wall that allows the artery to stretch and bulge. According to the University of Michigan Health System, every year roughly 3 to 9 percent of Americans between the ages of 60 and 70 suffer an abdominal aortic aneurysm. While many individuals live with small aneurysms, larger aneurysms are prone to rupture, which is often fatal. Ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms are the 13th leading cause of death in the United States, claiming 15,000 lives annually.

"Fifty percent of the patients who suffer a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm do not live to see a physician," Dr. Williams said. "Those who arrive alive to the emergency room are not in the best condition to withstand the physiological insult of surgery and open repair. They are promising candidates for a technique that patches the aorta from the inside." Dr. Williams spoke today at a Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) media briefing on image-guided therapies.

In traditional surgical aneurysm repair, a surgeon makes an incision in the abdomen, cuts out the damaged part of the aort
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Contact: Maureen Morley
mmorley@rsna.org
630-590-7754
Radiological Society of North America
19-Jun-2003


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