Vascular Quality Initiative assessment of compliance with Society for Vascular Surgery clinical practice guidelines on the care of patients with abdominal aortic aneurysm.

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


OBJECTIVE: Professional societies publish clinical practice guidelines to provide evidence-based recommendations to improve care and to reduce practice variation. However, the degree of compliance with the guidelines and its impact on outcomes have not been well defined. This study used the Vascular Quality Initiative (VQI) abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) registries to determine current compliance with and impact of recent Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) AAA guidelines.

METHODS: Recommendations from the SVS AAA guidelines were reviewed and assessed as to whether they could be evaluated with current VQI data sets. The degree of compliance with these individual recommendations was calculated by center and correlated with clinical outcomes. Data were analyzed by univariate analysis and mixed effects multivariable logistic regression. Statistical significance was measured at P < .05.

RESULTS: Of the 111 SVS recommendations, 10 could be evaluated using VQI registries. The mean center-specific compliance rate ranged from 40% (smoking cessation 2 weeks before open AAA [OAAA] repair) to 99% (preservation of flow to one internal iliac artery during endovascular aneurysm repair [EVAR]). Some recommendations were associated with improved outcomes (eg, cell salvage for OAAA repair and antibiotic prophylaxis), whereas others were not (eg, EVAR at a center with >10 cases per year or door-to-intervention timeAAA). With multivariable analysis, compliance with preservation of flow to the internal iliac artery decreased major adverse cardiac events in EVAR and marginally decreased in-hospital and 1-year mortality in OAAA repair. Antibiotic administration decreased surgical site infection, major adverse cardiac events, and in-hospital mortality and marginally decreased respiratory complications and 1-year mortality in EVAR. Cell salvage for OAAA repair decreased 1-year mortality. Tobacco cessation before EVAR or OAAA repair decreased respiratory complications and 1-year mortality.

CONCLUSIONS: The VQI registry is a valuable tool that can be used to measure compliance with SVS AAA guidelines. Compliance with recommendations was associated with improved outcomes and should be encouraged for providers. Participation in the VQI registry provides an objective assessment of performance and compliance with guidelines. VQI provider and center reports may be used as a focus for quality improvement efforts.