Background: The development of devices designed for the endoluminal repair of abdominal aortic aneurysm has led to the emergence of new endovascular techniques. Methods: Articles and case reports obtained from a Medline search of the English language literature from 1989 to 1997 are reviewed. This search was carried out using the MeSH heading 'aortic aneurysm, abdominal' and the keywords 'endovascular' and 'endoluminal'. Results: Reported mortality and complication rates for endoluminal aneurysm repair are similar to those following conventional repair, with the exception of continued perfusion of the aneurysm sac which remains a major problem following endoluminal repair. Conclusion: Successful endoluminal aneurysm exclusion is associated with reduced aneurysm diameter. However, longer term results of endoluminal repair, in particular of sealed endoleaks, are required before randomized controlled trials of endoluminal versus conventional repair can be undertaken.