Frailty index predicts long-term mortality and postoperative complications in patients undergoing endovascular aortic aneurysm repair

Published:March 10, 2020DOI:



      The Risk Analysis Index (RAI) has been used to evaluate preoperative frailty, which is associated with poor short- and long-term outcomes. We assessed this tool's ability to predict postoperative outcomes after endovascular aortic aneurysm repair.


      Institutional Review Board approval was obtained for this retrospective study. All patients who underwent elective endovascular aneurysm repair at a single Veterans Affairs Medical Center from December 2010 to March 2016 were included. Patients' characteristics and clinical data were retrospectively collected and analyzed. The RAI score was calculated from preoperative data, and a standard cutoff value (RAI ≥30) was used to determine frailty. Outcomes including postoperative complications, delayed discharge, and survival were compared between frail and nonfrail groups. Multivariate analysis was performed to evaluate preoperative factors associated with these outcomes.


      There were 134 patients who met inclusion criteria. There were 44 frail patients (RAI ≥30) and 90 nonfrail patients (RAI <30). Frail patients had a longer hospital stay (3.9 ± 4.0 days vs 2.3 ± 1.6 days; P = .02), increased operative time (155 ± 30 minutes vs 138 ± 30 minutes; P = .002), and increased postoperative complications (43% vs 21%; P = .02) compared with nonfrail patients. Kaplan-Meier average survival for frail patients and nonfrail patients was 60 ± 4 months and 84 ± 3 months (P < .001), respectively. In multivariate analyses, frailty was associated with worse overall survival (hazard ratio, 3.7; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.8-7.3) and higher odds of complications (odds ratio, 1.1; 95% CI, 1.0-1.14) and delayed discharge (odds ratio, 1.1; 95% CI, 1.05-1.2).


      Preoperative frailty as evaluated by the RAI is associated with worse short-term postoperative outcomes and long-term mortality. The RAI can be used to inform risk-benefit discussions with patients and their families.


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