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I have a retrospectively enrolled cohort of patients with aortic disease. The endpoint is aortic enlargement at or after postoperative 6 months. Patients experiencing aortic enlargement within 6 months but without aortic enlargement at or after postoperative 6 months are censored. Patients experiencing aortic enlargement within 6 months, and suffering aortic enlargement at or after postoperative 6 months continuously are considered having endpoint. Patients without aortic enlargement but suffering aortic enlargement at or after postoperative 6 months are considered having endpoint. Our aim is to identify the risk factors of the endpoint mentioned above. However, there are a small portion of patients with a follow-up period less than 6 months after operation. The question is how to manage this portion of patients, exclude or censor them?

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  • $\begingroup$ Are patients who have neither aortic enlargement within 6 months nor after 6 months censored or excluded? $\endgroup$ – MBorg Jul 17 '18 at 4:50
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Summarizing what you've said, any patient with aortic enlargement at or after postoperative 6 months are considered having endpoint. Otherwise they are censored. These are the two outcomes for each patient, with the alternative being exclusion from the study.

Ideally with the small portion of patients with a follow-up period less than 6 months, the best option would be to arrange a consult with them to determine if they did have aortic enlargement at or after 6 months, or another method such as a clinical audit or phone call. This may not be possible.

If it is not possible to determine if they had aortic enlargement after 6 months, then you would have to exclude them from the study since you do not know their outcome.

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