Aortic stent grafting is gaining acceptance rapidly as a durable and effective alternative to open surgery for abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA). Unlike follow-up after open surgical procedures, postplacement surveillance protocols are necessary to ensure long-term freedom from device failure or aneurysm rupture. Surveillance protocols incorporating duplex scanning are effective and may reduce overall postplacement expenses. Specific device or patient anatomic features may be prone to failure, and familiarity with each approved device is a prerequisite to the performance of effective device surveillance studies. Mechanisms of failure of aneurysm exclusion after device placement, or "endoleak," have been described and categorized. Endoleak significance is directly related to location, duration, and influence on AAA diameter. Endoleak type also determines when and whether additional interventions are indicated. Future progress in endovascular AAA exclusion will depend in large part on the reliability and utility of cost-effective postprocedure surveillance protocols incorporating duplex ultrasound imaging.
View details for PubMedID 11561285