Noninvasive diagnosis of incomplete endovascular aneurysm repair: D-dimer assay to detect type I endoleaks and nonshrinking aneurysms

Francesco Serino, Damiano Abeni, Elisabetta Galvagni, Savino G. Sardella, Alberto Scuro, Mauro Ferrari, Iole Ciarafoni, Lorena Silvestri, Angelo Fusco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To test the hypothesis that D-dimer (D-D), a cross-linked fibrin degradation product of an ongoing thrombotic event, could be a marker for incomplete aneurysm exclusion after endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair. Methods: In a multicenter study, 83 venous blood samples were collected from 74 AAA endograft patients and controls. Twenty subjects who were >6 months postimplantation and had evidence of an endoleak and/or an unmodified or increasing AAA sac diameter formed the test group. Controls were 10 nondiseased subjects >65 years old, 18 AAA surgical candidates, and 26 postoperative endograft patients with no endoleak and a shrinking aneurysm. Blood samples were analyzed for D-D through a latex turbidimetric immunoassay. The endograft patients were stratified into 5 clinical groups for analysis: no endoleak and decreasing sac diameter, no endoleak and increasing/unchanged sac diameter, type II endoleak and decreasing sac diameter, type II endoleak and increasing/unchanged sac diameter, and type I endoleak. Results: Individual D-D values were highly variable, but differences among clinical groups were statistically significant (p <0.0001). D-D values did not vary significantly between patients with stable, untreated AAAs and age-matched controls (238 ± 180 ng/mL versus 421 ± 400 ng/mL, p > 0.05). Median D-D values increased at 4 days postoperatively (963 ng/mL versus 382 ng/mL, p > 0.05) and did not vary thereafter if there was no endoleak and the aneurysm sac decreased. D-D mean values were higher in patients with type I endoleak (1931 ± 924 ng/mL, p <0.005) and those with unchanged/increasing sac diameters (1272 ± 728 ng/mL) than in cases with decreasing diameters (median 638 ± 238 ng/mL) despite the presence of endoleak (p <0.0005). Conclusions: Elevated D-D may prove to be a useful marker for fixation problems after endovascular AAA repair and may help rule out type I endoleak, thus excluding patients from unnecessary invasive tests.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-97
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Endovascular Therapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm
  • Aneurysm sac diameter
  • Diagnostic test
  • Endovascular grafts
  • Sac enlargement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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