UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications


Trends in use of the only Food and Drug Administration-approved commercially available fenestrated endovascular aneurysm repair device in the United States

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Surgery, Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery

Publication Date


Document Type





BACKGROUND: Fenestrated endografts are customized, patient-specific, endovascular devices with potential to significantly reduce morbidity and mortality of short-neck infrarenal and juxtarenal abdominal aortic aneurysm repair. The Zenith fenestrated endovascular graft (ZFEN) for abdominal aortic aneurysms (Cook Medical, Bloomington, Ind), Food and Drug Administration-approved in 2012, remains the only fenestrated device available in the United States. This technology is among the most technically complex catheter-based procedures and, therefore, inherently associated with serious risk for device-related complications. We sought to define patterns of physician and hospital adoption of ZFEN.

METHODS: Deidentified datasets containing numbers of physicians trained, orders by physicians and hospitals, and designs (fenestration/scallop configuration) was provided for U.S. ZFEN devices ordered (April 2012-August 2015). We evaluated the number of physicians trained, the number of devices ordered, hospital characteristics, and fenestration/scallop design configurations. Cook Medical assembled the datasets but played no role in study design, analysis, or interpretation of data.

RESULTS: Between April 2012 and August 2015, 553 physicians attended formal ZFEN training sessions, 388 (70%) of whom ordered a total of 2669 devices. An increase in orders per month (nine in June 2012 and 91 in August 2015, 911% growth; P < .001) and in number of physicians ordering per month (eight in June 2012 and 62 in August 2015, 675% growth; P < .001) was observed. Teaching hospitals, representing all U.S. regions (Midwest 927, 35%; South 799, 30%; Northeast 547, 20%; West 396, 15%), accounted for 1703 (64%) ZFEN orders. Of 553 trained physicians, 165 (30%) ordered no devices, 116 (21%) ordered 1 device, 144 (26%) ordered 2-5 devices, 61 (11%) ordered 6-10 devices, 39 (7%) ordered 11-20, and 28 (5%) ordered > 20 devices. For physicians contributing > 6 months of data (n = 336), the average number of devices ordered per year was three (standard deviation, 4); 272 (81%) ordered < /= 5 devices/year, 15 (4.5%) ordered 11-20 devices/year, and 3 (0.9%) ordered > 20 devices/year. Of devices with design details available (2618 of 2669; 98%), most common designs were 2 small fenestrations/1 scallop (1443; 55%), 2 small fenestrations/1 large fenestration (568; 22%), 1 small fenestration/1 scallop (173, 6.6%), and 2 small fenestrations (169; 6.5%). The average number of target vessels incorporated in each design was 2.7/device; 2071 (79%) incorporated three, 398 (15%) incorporated two.

CONCLUSIONS: Since 2012, ZFEN has demonstrated a ninefold increase in monthly orders, with 553 physicians trained. Unlike the experience of rapid dissemination seen with infrarenal endografts, only 28 (5%) physicians have ordered > 20, whereas 165 (30%) have ordered none, and 272 (81%) ordered < /= 5 devices/year. Assuming that volume, in general, correlates with outcomes, this adoption pattern raises questions whether fenestrated technology should be regionalized to high-volume centers.

DOI of Published Version



J Vasc Surg. 2017 May;65(5):1260-1269. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2016.10.101. Epub 2017 Feb 21. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of vascular surgery

PubMed ID