A comparison of the mortality rate after elective repair of aortic aneurysms detected either by screening or incidentally

C. D. Irvine, E. Shaw, K. R. Poskitt, M. R. Whyman, J. J. Earnshaw*, B. P. Heather

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To compare predicted and actual mortality rates, using POSSUM scoring, after elective repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) detected from the Gloucestershire Aneurysm Screening Programme and those discovered incidentally. Methods: A sample of 276 men undergoing elective AAA repair in Gloucestershire between 1991 and 1998 was studied. AAAs were either detected from the screening programme or were discovered incidentally and referred from other sources. Mortality data relating to these patients have been recorded prospectively. POSSUM scoring was performed retrospectively from patients' notes in both groups and related to outcome (30 day and in-hospital mortality). POSSUM and P-POSSUM methodology were used to compare observed and predicted mortality rates. Results: In the 276 men who had elective AAA repair, the overall mortality rate was 7%. Mortality was lower in screen-detected AAAs (3/111, 3%) than AAAs discovered incidentally (16/175, 9%) (p=0.05). Preoperative physiology scores were significantly lower in men with a screen-detected AAA (median 19, range 13-29 versus 21, 12-41, p<0.001). POSSUM operative scores were similar between the groups. Actual versus predicted death ratios in the sample group were more accurate using POSSUM (ratio 0.93) than P-POSSUM (2.38) analysis. Conclusions: Men with a screen-detected AAA had a lower mortality rate after elective repair than in those detected incidentally; lower preoperative physiology scores suggested they were fitter (as well as younger). In this study POSSUM analysis more accurately predicted outcome than P-POSSUM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)374-378
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Aortic aneurysm
  • Postoperative complications
  • Screening


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