The effects of operative indication and urgency of intervention on patient outcomes after thoracic aortic endografting

Martyn Knowles, Erin H Murphy, J Michael Dimaio, J Gregory Modrall, Carlos H Timaran, Michael E Jessen, Frank R Arko
Journal of Vascular Surgery 2011, 53 (4): 926-34

BACKGROUND: Endovascular repair for complex thoracic aortic pathology has emerged over the past decade as an alternative to open surgical repair. Reports suggest lower morbidity and mortality rates associated with endovascular interventions. The purpose of this report was to analyze a large single institution experience in endovascular thoracic aortic repair based on clinical presentation as well as within and outside specific instructions for use.

METHODS: Records of all patients undergoing thoracic aortic endografting at our institution were retrospectively reviewed for demographics, interventional indications and acuity, operative details, and clinical outcomes. Study outcomes were analyzed by clinical presentation (urgent/emergent vs elective) and aneurysm morphology that was within and outside specific instructions for use as recommended by the manufacturer.

RESULTS: Between March 2006 and October 2009, 96 patients underwent thoracic endografting for aneurysm (n = 43), transection (n = 7), penetrating ulcer (n = 11), dissection (n = 19; acute = 9, chronic = 10), pseudoaneurysm (n = 11), or miscellaneous indications (n = 5). Endografting was performed with various endografts (Gore TAG: 59; Medtrontic Talent: 26; Zenith-TX2: 7; Combination: 4.Involvement of the arch (n = 42, 43.75%) was treated with subclavian artery coverage without revascularization in 13 (13.5%), debranching in 20 (20.8%), and fenestration/stenting in 9 (9.38%). Involvement of the visceral vessels (n = 24, 25%) was treated with debranching in 15 (15.6%) or fenestration/stenting in 9 (9.4%). Patients had a mean follow-up of 11.5 ± 10.96 (range: 0-38) months. Overall mortality was 6.25% (n = 6). Mean intensive care unit stay was 6.26 ± 8.55 (range: 1-63, median: 4) days, and hospital stay was 9.97 ± 10.31 (range: 1-65, median: 65) days. Major complications were infrequent and included: spinal cord ischemia (n = 6, 6.25%), stroke (n = 6, 6.25%), myocardial infarction (n = 3, 3.15%), renal failure (n = 6, 6.25%), and wound complications (n = 9, 9.38%). Reoperation was required in 13 (13.54%), with early intervention in 2 (2.1%). The vast majority of patients were discharged directly to home (n = 66, 68.8%). There were no significant differences between death (1/49 [2%] vs 5/47 [10.6%], P = .07), stroke (3/49 [6%] vs 3/47 [6%], P = 1.0), or spinal cord ischemia (3/49 [6%] vs 3/47 [6%], P = 1.0) when comparing urgent/emergent presentation to elective cases, respectively. However, there were significant differences in death (6/58 [10.5%] vs 0/38 [0%], P = .04) and spinal cord ischemia (6/58 [10.5%] vs 0/38 [0%], P = .04) but not stroke (5/58 [8.8%] vs 1/38 [2.5%], P = .24] when procedures were performed outside the specific instructions for use.

CONCLUSIONS: Results of this single-institution report suggest that endovascular thoracic aortic repair is a safe and effective treatment option for a variety of thoracic pathology including both elective and emergent cases. However, off-label usage of the devices is associated with a significantly higher risk of mortality and spinal cord ischemia, but the risk still appears acceptable given the majority of cases were emergent.

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