Current management of traumatic thoracic aortic injury

Christopher J Kwolek, Elizabeth Blazick
Seminars in Vascular Surgery 2010, 23 (4): 215-20
Traumatic aortic rupture is a devastating injury that is difficult to manage because of the need to approach aortic repair, often in concert with management of complex associated injuries to nonvascular organ systems. Traditional open repair, while effective in the long-term, is associated with a periprocedural mortality between 10% and 20%, along with a 5% risk of stroke and up to a 5% risk of spinal chord ischemia. The advent of endovascular stent graft repair has allowed single centers to cut periprocedural mortality in half and decrease the risk of major neurologic events to <2%. It is unlikely that a multicenter prospective randomized trial will ever be performed to evaluate these two procedures. However, several large meta-analyses have been published recently, along with a clinical practice guideline from the Society for Vascular Surgery. The purpose of this article is to review the trends and current concepts in the management of traumatic rupture of the thoracic aorta.

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