Frans Moll (University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands), co-chairman of the CX Programme Organising Board, gives his views as to why the management of short necks is a hot topic in the field and discusses the current strategies of treatment. He will moderate the session “Procedures for infrarenal abdominal aortic neck” of the CX Abdominal Aortic Controversies Day.   

Why is the management of aortic necks of less than 15mm controversial?
There is still an axiom that durability for proximal fixation of the aortic neck with endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) depends on sealing and fixation, so you do not only need fixation but you also need a certain amount of sealing zone. The critical sealing zone corresponds to one ring of the stent graft. This is usually between 1.2 and 1.5cm in length.

What are the factors that must be considered when treating short infrarenal aortic necks with endovascular approaches?
If you think that the patient will really benefit from endovascular procedures as opposed to open procedures you need to accept shorter necks (>1.5cm in length). The conditions in which it can be accepted are either suprarenal fixation or T-branched.  

What endovascular approaches are currently addressing the management of this type of necks?
In shorter stenting we could use sealing prototypes; for example, there is a device that inflates the sealing zone and another one where the polymer is used to fill the aneurysm sac. You could also use a stent graft that is specifically designed for shorter necks (1.5cm up to 1cm). There is also a system that uses endoluminal staples designed to secure the neck.

At the “Procedures for infrarenal abdominal aortic neck” session, physicians will debate whether EVAR is not sensible for abdominal aortic aneurysms with a neck length shorter than 10mm; are you for or against the motion and why?
I think that necks shorter than 10mm can be treated safely with EVAR but you need to consider the latest generation stent grafts. Not every stent graft is able to provide a good result between 8mm and 10mm length.  

The CX Abdominal Aortic Controversies Day will take place at the Charing Cross Symposium on Wednesday 29 April – Main Auditorium, Olympia Grand, London, UK

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