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Background: The Estimation of Physiologic Ability and Surgical Stress (E-PASS) score was designed on the premise that the balance between the patient's physiologic reserve capacity and the surgical stress inflicted at operation was important in the occurrence of postoperative complications. The aim of this study was to assess its value in predicting mortality and morbidity after open elective abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair. Methods: E-PASS data items were collected prospectively in a group of 204 patients undergoing elective open AAA repair over a 6-year period. The operative morbidity and mortality rates were compared with the preoperative risk score (PRS), surgical stress score (SSS) and comprehensive risk score (CRS) of E-PASS. The group comprised 180 (88%) males and the median age was 73 (range 44 to 86) years. Results: There were 13 (6%) deaths and 121 (59%) experienced a postoperative complication. As the PRS, SSS and CRS increased, the incidence of postoperative morbidity and mortality significantly increased (P < .0001). Overall mean CRS was .52 (±.27). Mean CRS in the groups of patients who survived and died were .49 (±.24) and .98 (±26), respectively. PRS, SSS, and CRS all had extremely good predictive power for both mortality and morbidity as demonstrated by high areas under the receiver operator curve (range .799 to .953). CRS also showed a strong statistically significant association with the severity of postoperative complication (P < .0001) and length of hospital stay (P < .0001). Conclusions: The E-PASS model appears to be a promising method of predicting death and the development of postoperative complications in patients undergoing elective open AAA surgery. It requires further validation in arterial surgery at different geographical locations. © 2007 Excerpta Medica Inc. All rights reserved.

Original publication




Journal article


American Journal of Surgery

Publication Date





176 - 182