General versus loco-regional anesthesia for endovascular aortic aneurysm repair

Sandra Lee, Carolyne You, Andrew Kucey, Fahad Alam, Giuseppe Papia, Daryl S. Kucey, Thomas Forbes, Stephen Choi, Andrew D. Dueck, Ahmed Kayssi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Aortic aneurysms occur when the aorta, the body's largest artery, grows in size, and can occur in the thoracic or abdominal aorta. The approaches to repair aortic aneurysms include directly exposing the aorta and replacing the diseased segment via open repair, or endovascular repair. Endovascular repair uses fluoroscopic-guidance to access the aorta and deliver a device to exclude the aneurysmal aortic segment without requiring a large surgical incision. Endovascular repair can be performed under a general anesthetic, during which the unconscious patient is paralyzed and reliant on an anesthetic machine to maintain the airway and provide oxygen to the lungs, or a loco-regional anesethetic, for which medications are administered to provide the person with sufficient sedation and pain control without requiring a general anesthetic. While people undergoing general anesthesia are more likely to remain still during surgery and have a well-controlled airway in the event of unanticipated complications, loco-regional anesthesia is associated with fewer postoperative complications in some studies. It remains unclear which anesthetic technique is associated with better outcomes following the endovascular repair of aortic aneurysms. Objectives: To evaluate the benefits and harms of general anesthesia compared to loco-regional anesthesia for endovascular aortic aneurysm repair. Search methods: We used standard, extensive Cochrane search methods. The latest search was 11 March 2022. Selection criteria: We searched for all randomized controlled trials that assessed the effects of general anesthesia compared to loco-regional anesthesia for endovascular aortic aneurysm repairs. Data collection and analysis: We used standard Cochrane methods. Our primary outcomes were: all-cause mortality, length of hospital stay, length of intensive care unit stay. Our secondary outcomes were: incidence of endoleaks, requirement for re-intervention, incidence of myocardial infarction, quality of life, incidence of respiratory complications, incidence of pulmonary embolism, incidence of deep vein thrombosis, and length of procedure. We planned to use GRADE methodology to assess the certainty of evidence for each outcome. Main results: We found no studies, published or ongoing, that met our inclusion criteria. Authors' conclusions: We did not identify any randomized controlled trials that compared general versus loco-regional anesthesia for endovascular aortic aneurysm repair. There is currently insufficient high-quality evidence to determine the benefits or harms of either anesthetic approach during endovascular aortic aneurysm repair. Well-designed prospective randomized trials with relevant clinical outcomes are needed to adequately address this.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberCD013182
JournalCochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 13 2023
Externally publishedYes


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