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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Endovascular management of acute blunt traumatic thoracic aortic injury: a single center experience

Clare L Bent, Matthew B Matson, Mo Sobeh, Ian Renfrew, Rakesh Uppal, Michael Walsh, Karim Brohi, Constantinos Kyriakides
Journal of Vascular Surgery 2007, 46 (5): 920-7
17905557

BACKGROUND: Traumatic injury of the thoracic aorta is a life-threatening complication in patients who sustain deceleration or crush injuries. The magnitude of force necessary to cause blunt thoracic aortic injury results in a high proportion of concomitant injuries, posing a significant challenge for prioritizing management. Open surgical mortality is increased in the presence of coexisting head, lung, and abdominal injuries. Spinal cord ischemia may occur following aortic cross-clamping and operative hypotension. Endovascular stent-graft placement offers a safe, effective, and timely treatment option. The aim of this study was to assess our single center experience of endovascular repair following acute blunt traumatic aortic injury.

METHODS: Data from thirteen consecutive patients (mean age, 43.2 years; range, 16 to 84 years) with acute blunt traumatic aortic injury treated by endovascular stent-graft insertion between October 2001 and March 2007 was prospectively collected. Demographics, injury characteristics, technique, and complications were recorded. Follow-up data consisted of computed tomographic angiography and plain chest radiography at regular intervals. Mean and median follow-up after stent-graft implantation were 28.9 and 29 months, respectively.

RESULTS: All patients underwent endovascular repair within a median of 9 hours from hospital presentation. Two patients underwent carotico-carotid bypass immediately prior to endovascular stenting during a single anesthetic. Stent-graft implantation was technically successful in all patients. No patient required conversion to open surgical repair of the acute blunt traumatic aortic injury. Procedure-related paraplegia was zero. Complications included proximal migration of initial stent-graft in one patient and iliac artery avulsion in another patient with consequent ilio-femoral bypass. The median hospital stay was 17 days. There were no in-hospital deaths.

CONCLUSION: Endovascular repair is evolving as the procedure of choice for acute blunt traumatic aortic injury. Treatment of lesions that extend into the aortic arch is feasible with extra-anatomical bypass. In our study, endovascular repair of blunt traumatic aortic injury is a safe procedure with low morbidity and a mortality rate of zero.

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