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Trends in elective and ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm repair by practice setting in Ontario, Canada, from 2003 to 2016: a population-based time-series analysis

Salata K, Hussain MA, de Mestral C, Greco E, Aljabri BA, Sabongui S, Mamdani M, Forbes TL, Bhatt DL, Verma S, Al-Omran M. CMAJ Open. 2019; 7(2):E379-84. 2019; May 30 [Epub ahead of print]. DOI: 10.9778/cmajo.20180173.


Background — Recent years have seen centralization of vascular surgery services in Ontario. We sought to examine the trends in overall and approach-specific elective and ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm repair by hospital type (teaching v. community).

Methods — We conducted a population-based time-series analysis of elective and ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm repairs in Ontario, Canada, from 2003 to 2016. Quarterly cumulative incidences of repairs per 100 000 Ontarians aged 40 years and older were calculated. We fit exponential smoothing models to the data stratified by approach and hospital type to examine repair trends.

Results — We identified 19 219 elective and 2722 ruptured repairs between 2003 and 2016. The cumulative incidences of overall elective repair and elective open surgical repair decreased by 1.15% (p = 0.008) and 67% (p < 0.001), respectively, in teaching hospitals and by 23% (p < 0.001) and 60% (p < 0.001), respectively, in community hospitals. The cumulative incidence of elective endovascular repair increased 667% in teaching hospitals (p < 0.001). Elective endovascular repair began in community centres after 2010 and increased to 0.98/100 000 (p < 0.001), resulting in a rebound in overall elective repair in the community. Overall ruptured repairs and ruptured open repairs decreased by 84% (p < 0.001) and 88% (p = 0.002), respectively, at community hospitals. Ruptured endovascular repairs at community hospitals increased from no procedures before 2006 to 0.03/100 000 in 2016 (p = 0.005).

Interpretation — There has been substantial uptake of endovascular aortic repair in teaching and community hospitals in Ontario, and community hospital uptake of endovascular repair has begun decentralization of abdominal aortic aneurysm repair. Increased experience and training in endovascular repair and reduced specialized care requirements will probably lead to continued decentralization.

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