Contrast-enhanced US Evaluation of Endoleaks after Endovascular Stent Repair of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

Academic Article


  • Ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) carries high morbidity and mortality. Elective repair of AAA with endovascular stent-grafts requires lifetime imaging surveillance for potential complications, most commonly endoleaks. Because endoleaks result in antegrade or retrograde systemic arterialized flow into the excluded aneurysm sac, patients are at risk for recurrent aneurysm sac growth with the potential to rupture. Multiphasic CT has been the main imaging modality for surveillance and symptom evaluation, but contrast-enhanced US (CEUS) offers a useful alternative that avoids radiation and iodinated contrast material. CEUS is at least equivalent to CT for detecting endoleak and may be more sensitive. The authors provide a general protocol and technical considerations needed to perform CEUS of the abdominal aorta after endovascular stent repair. When there are no complications, the stent-graft lumen has homogeneous enhancement, and no contrast material is present in the aneurysm sac outside the stented lumen. In patients with an antegrade endoleak, contrast material is seen simultaneously in the aneurysm sac and stent-graft lumen, while delayed enhancement in the sac is due to retrograde leak. Recognition of artifacts and other potential pitfalls for CEUS studies is important for examination performance and interpretation.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Alexander LF; Overfield CJ; Sella DM; Clingan MJ; Erben YM; Metcalfe AM; Robbin ML; Caserta MP
  • Start Page

  • 1758
  • End Page

  • 1775
  • Volume

  • 42
  • Issue

  • 6