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Trenner, Matthias; Salvermoser, Michael; Reutersberg, Benedikt; Busch, Albert; Schmid, Volker J. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2195-8130; Eckstein, Hans-Henning and Kuehnl, Andreas (29. November 2019): Regional variation in endovascular treatment rate and in-hospital mortality of abdominal aortic aneurysms in Germany. In: VASA : European Journal of Vascular Medicine: pp. 1-8

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Background: Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) can be treated by either open surgery (OAR) or endovascular aortic repair (EVAR). The aim of this study was to analyze regional variations in application of (EVAR) and in-hospital mortality after intact AAA (iAAA) repair. Methods: Using data provided by the German Federal Statistical Office, a nationwide analysis for 2012 to 2014 was conducted. Patients with a diagnosis of iAAA (I71.4) and corresponding procedure codes for OAR (5-384.5/7) or EVAR (5-38a.1) were included. Odds ratios (ORs) for use of EVAR (proportion of EVAR among total EVAR + OAR cases) and mortality were calculated for all regions in Germany. ORs for EVAR use were adjusted for age, sex, and risk (Elixhauser score). ORs for mortality were additionally adjusted for type of procedure (OAR/EVAR). Results: Finally, 31,757 procedures for iAAA were included. Median age of all patients was 73 years (interquartile range 67–78 years) and 87.1 % were male. The mean proportion of EVAR procedures was 72.6 %; however, the application of EVAR for repair of iAAA varied widely depending on region. The lowest unadjusted regional rate of EVAR use was 48.8 %, while the highest was 92.5 %. After adjustment, the lowest regional OR for EVAR use (compared to the nationwide mean) was 0.23 (95 % confidence interval [0.15–0.36]), the highest 5.93 [1.79–19.65]. Overall in-hospital mortality was 2.9 % (OAR 6.2 %; EVAR 1.7 %). The adjusted regional OR for mortality ranged from 0.31 [0.07–1.42] to 4.98 [2.08–11.93]. Conclusions: This study reveals variations in use of EVAR and in-hospital mortality for iAAA treatment in Germany. This may imply that selection of treatment might not only be influenced by patient characteristics, but also by regional location. These results need to be taken into account when discussing centralization of AAA treatment in Germany.

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