Endovascular repair of traumatic rupture of the thoracic aorta: single-center experience

Nikolaos A Saratzis, Athanasios N Saratzis, Nikolaos Melas, Georgios Ginis, Athanasios Lioupis, Dimitrios Lykopoulos, John Lazaridis, Kiskinis Dimitrios
Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology 2007, 30 (3): 370-5

PURPOSE: Traumatic rupture of the thoracic aorta secondary to blunt chest trauma is a life-threatening emergency and a common cause of death, usually following violent collisions. The objective of this retrospective report was to evaluate the efficacy of endovascular treatment of thoracic aortic disruptions with a single commercially available stent-graft.

METHODS: Nine men (mean age 29.5 years) were admitted to our institution between January 2003 and January 2006 due to blunt aortic trauma following violent motor vehicle collisions. Plain chest radiography, spiral computed tomography, aortography, and transesophageal echocardiography were used for diagnostic purposes in all cases. All patients were diagnosed with contained extramural thoracic aortic hematomas, secondary to aortic disruption. One patient was also diagnosed with a traumatic thoracic aortic dissection, secondary to blunt trauma. All subjects were poor surgical candidates, due to major injuries such as multiple bone fractures, abdominal hematomas, and pulmonary contusions. All repairs were performed using the EndoFit (LeMaitre Vascular) stent-graft.

RESULTS: Complete exclusion of the traumatic aortic disruption and pseudoaneurysm was achieved and verified at intraoperative arteriography and on CT scans, within 10 days of the repair in all patients. In 1 case the deployment of a second cuff was necessary due to a secondary endoleak. In 2 cases the left subclavian artery was occluded to achieve adequate graft fixation. No procedure-related deaths have occurred and no cardiac or peripheral vascular complications were observed within the 12 months (range 8-16 months) follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS: This is the first time the EndoFit graft has been utilized in the treatment of thoracic aortic disruptions secondary to chest trauma. The repair of such pathologies is technically feasible and early follow-up results are promising.

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