The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of hiatal and thoracic clamping on postoperative outcome and morbidity and factors affecting mortality and morbidity. The records of 102 patients who had undergone ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm repair between 1993 and 2005 were evaluated retrospectively. Hiatal clamping and thoracic clamping were performed in 72 patients and 30 patients, respectively. Postoperative complications and survival were evaluated comparatively between the two groups by univariate and multivariate statistical analyses. Overall mortality and hospital mortality rates were 63 ( 61.8%) and 24 ( 23.5%) patients, respectively; and there was no difference between the two groups. Postoperative respiratory complications, gastrointestinal complications, and blood requirement were higher in the thoracic clamping group. Preoperative shock and renal ischemia time (> 30 min) were found to be significant predictors of hospital mortality. Postoperative renal failure was the only independent postoperative predictor of mortality. In the follow-up period, cardiac event was an independent predictor of late mortality. If hospital mortalities were excluded, 5-year and 10-year cumulative survivals were 57.82 +/- 5.85% and 38.16 +/- 6.97%, respectively. Cross-clamp level did not have a significant effect on long-term survival. Although both thoracic and hiatal clamping had no effect on mortality, postoperative respiratory complications, blood requirement, and intestinal ischemia were more pronounced in patients operated with thoracic clamping. Hiatal clamping is preferable for a safe postoperative period.