Descending thoracic aortic rupture: role of endovascular stent-grafting

Kiyofumi Morishita, Yoshihiko Kurimoto, Nobuyoshi Kawaharada, Johji Fukada, Yoshikazu Hachiro, Yasuaki Fujisawa, Tomio Abe
Annals of Thoracic Surgery 2004, 78 (5): 1630-4

BACKGROUND: The mortality of patients with descending thoracic aortic rupture who are treated by conventional surgery is high. Our current strategy for the management of descending thoracic aortic rupture is to treat seriously ill patients with endovascular stent-grafting using handmade grafts, and to treat other patients with traditional open repair. The aim of this study was to assess the early results of our strategy.

METHODS: Twenty-nine consecutive patients with descending thoracic aortic rupture were referred to Sapporo Medical University Hospital from June 2001 to January 2004. Eighteen of these 29 patients were selected for endovascular stent-grafting because of polytrauma (n = 7), comorbidities (n = 6), advanced age (n = 2), past history of left thoracotomy (n = 2), and patient's preference (n = 1). The remaining 11 patients underwent traditional graft replacement of the diseased aorta. Their outcomes and follow-up data were collected and analyzed retrospectively.

RESULTS: The in-hospital mortality rate was 14% (4/29). The mortality rate for surgical patients and stent-grafting patients was 9% (1/11) and 17% (3/18), respectively. The survival rate of patients at 2 years was 63% +/- 10%. In the follow-up period, 2 of the 18 patients who underwent endovascular stent-grafting required open repair, and 1 patient underwent a redo endovascular stent-grafting procedure because of stent failure. One of these 3 patients died of an intraoperative retrograde type A aortic dissection.

CONCLUSIONS: The early results of endovascular stent-grafting for the treatment of high-risk patients with descending thoracic aortic rupture are promising. Early results of open repair can also be improved by the selection of stabilized patients. However, the requirement of reintervention indicates that detailed follow-up examinations in patients who have undergone endovascular stent-grafting with handmade stent-grafts should be performed.

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