Refinement of anatomic indications for the Nellix System for endovascular aneurysm sealing based on 2-year outcomes from the EVAS FORWARD IDE trial.

Document Type


Publication Date



Cardiology, Surgery

Journal Title

Journal of vascular surgery : official publication, the Society for Vascular Surgery [and] International Society for Cardiovascular Surgery, North American Chapter

MeSH Headings

Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal, Blood Vessel Prosthesis, Blood Vessel Prosthesis Implantation, Endovascular Procedures, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Male, Patient Selection, Stents, Time Factors, Treatment Outcome


BACKGROUND: The Nellix System (Endologix, Inc, Irvine, Calif) for endovascular aneurysm sealing (EVAS) is a novel approach to abdominal aortic aneurysm treatment and conceptually different from endovascular aneurysm repair, whereby polymer is employed to fill and actively manage the abdominal aortic aneurysm sac. One-year safety and effectiveness results of the Nellix pivotal trial demonstrated encouraging outcomes with very low morbidity and mortality and high procedural and treatment success. Two-year imaging revealed a signal of migration, leading to a field safety notification issued by the manufacturer on October 21, 2016, and a dedicated root cause analysis, resulting in refinements to the instructions for use (IFU). We report the 2-year results of the investigational device exemption pivotal trial stratified according to the new and original criteria for selection of patients.

METHODS: Comprehensive engineering evaluations, statistical analyses, and clinical assessments were conducted looking at patients enrolled in the pivotal trial (N = 150), roll-in cohort (N = 29), and continued access program (N = 154). All patients in all cohorts were treated on-IFU at the time of enrollment. Logistic regression models supported the mechanism that migration with Nellix is associated with a small aortic flow lumen relative to a large aneurysm thrombus burden and large aortic neck diameters. Based on these findings, refinements to the IFU criteria were applied, excluding patients with a thrombus index (maximum aneurysm sac/maximum flow lumen diameter) >1.4, aortic neck diameter >28 mm, and aortic neck conicity (>10% diameter change along the infrarenal neck) and requiring a 10-mm distal seal zone in the iliac artery.

RESULTS: Freedom from all-cause mortality at 2 years was 94%. Patient outcomes were then stratified on the refined morphologic criteria and analyzed retrospectively. Two-year freedom from composite endoleak was high among both cohorts (95% on-IFU vs 92% off-IFU). Freedom from migration was 97.7% on-IFU vs 93.2% off-IFU (P = .0125). Freedom from aneurysm enlargement was 98.1% on-IFU vs 93.5% off-IFU (P value is not available because of failure of log-rank test assumptions). Composite freedom from migration, type IA endoleak, or aneurysm expansion was 95.9% among the on-IFU cohort vs 85.1% in the off-IFU cohort (P = .0017).

CONCLUSIONS: Consistent with the introduction of a novel therapy, the presentation of failure modes of EVAS over time was inevitable. Using detailed imaging as well as engineering and statistical analysis, we were able to understand risk factors for adverse events specific to EVAS and defined those patients best suited for Nellix. With this EVAS-specific approach to defining IFU, on-IFU patients were identified as those with large aneurysms with little thrombus that would be prone to type II endoleaks and sac expansion with traditional devices. When treated with Nellix, these patients were predicted to experience exceptional results, especially with regard to a low composite endoleak rate and low all-cause mortality.



First Page


Last Page