Endovascular treatment of the descending thoracic aorta

D Lambrechts, F Casselman, P Schroeyers, R De Geest, P D'Haenens, I Degrieck
European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery 2003, 26 (4): 437-44

OBJECTIVES: to report our initial experience with endovascular stent graft repair of a variety of thoracic aortic pathology.

DESIGN: retrospective single center study.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: between February 2000 and January 2002, endovascular stent graft repair was performed in 26 patients: traumatic aortic isthmus rupture (n=3), Type B dissection (n=11) and descending thoracic aortic aneurysm (n=12). The deployed stent graft systems were AneuRx-Medtronic (n=1), Talent-Medtronic (n=13) and Excluder-Gore (n=12).

RESULTS: successful deployment of the stent grafts in the intended position was achieved in all patients. No hospital mortality neither paraplegia were observed. Late, non procedure related, death occurred in four patients (15%). Access artery complications with rupture of the iliac artery occurred in two patients and were managed by iliac-femoral bypass. The left subclavian artery was overstented in seven patients (27%). Only the first patient received a carotido-subclavian bypass. The mean maximal aortic diameter decreased significantly in patients treated for descending thoracic aneurysm. Only one patient had an endoleak type II after 6 months without enlargement of the aneurysm. Complete thrombosis of the thoracic false lumen occurred in all but one patient treated for Type B dissection 6 months postoperatively. Two patients underwent a consecutive stent graft placement, due to a large re-entry tear distal to the first stent graft.

CONCLUSIONS: endovascular stent graft repair for Type B dissection, descending thoracic aneurysm and aortic isthmus rupture is a promising less-invasive alternative to surgical repair. Further studies are mandatory to determine its long-term efficacy.

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