Intraoperative contrast-enhanced ultrasound examination for endoleak detection after complex and infrarenal endovascular aortic repair

Paula R Keschenau, Hussam Alkassam, Drosos Kotelis, Michael J Jacobs*, Johannes Kalder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


OBJECTIVE: The aim of this pilot study was to evaluate intraoperative contrast-enhanced ultrasound (iCEUS) examination for endoleak (EL) detection after complex endovascular aortic repairs (EVAR) in comparison with the standard angiographic completion control.

METHODS: Twenty-one patients (16 male; median age, 73 years [range, 54-81 years]) who underwent single-stage EVARs at our center between October 2016 and October 2018 were included prospectively. The procedures comprised fenestrated and/or branched EVAR (n = 14; 66%), infrarenal EVAR (n = 5; 24%), infrarenal EVAR with bilateral iliac side branch implantation (n = 1; 5%), and infrarenal EVAR with occluder implantation into the internal iliac artery (n = 1; 5%). The used endografts included 14 custom made devices (Cook, Australia Pty Ltd, Brisbane, Australia, n = 6; Vascutek Terumo, Glasgow, Scotland, n = 8) and seven standard infrarenal endografts (Medtronic Inc, Santa Rosa, Calif, n = 5; Vascutek Terumo, Glasgow, Scotland, n = 1; Cook, n = 1). All patients underwent an angiographic completion control for EL detection followed by iCEUS examination. The iCEUS examination was performed by the same examiner who was blinded to the angiography result. In addition to the comparison of the angiographic results to iCEUS examination, iCEUS examination was also compared with the computed tomography angiography (CTA) before discharge (median time to CTA, 5 days [range, 1-7 days]).

RESULTS: Angiography detected eight type II EL, defining the EL origin in four cases. In addition to detecting all of those eight EL, iCEUS examination revealed eight more type II EL not seen on angiography (P = .002) and allowed a definition of the EL origin in all cases. CTA before discharge showed a persistence of only 5 of the 16 type II EL detected by iCEUS examination (31%, P = .002).

CONCLUSIONS: An iCEUS examination can be used as another adjunct to decrease exposure to contrast agent and radiation during EVAR, including complex procedures. A replacement of the completion angiography by iCEUS examination is conceivable for infrarenal EVAR, but also for endovascular type IV or type V repairs. Future studies with larger patient numbers will help to further validate iCEUS examination during complex EVAR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1200-1206
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


  • Contrast-enhanced ultrasound
  • Endovascular aortic repair
  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm
  • Thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm
  • Endoleak


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