COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Open repair of blunt thoracic aortic injury remains relevant in the endovascular era

Robert M Cannon, Jaimin R Trivedi, Sebastian Pagni, Amit Dwivedi, Jennifer N Bland, Mark S Slaughter, Charles B Ross, J David Richardson, Matthew L Williams
Journal of the American College of Surgeons 2012, 214 (6): 943-9
22541985

BACKGROUND: Thoracic endovascular aneurysm repair (TEVAR) has been a major advance in the treatment of blunt thoracic aortic injury (BTAI), although many patients still undergo open repair. This study was undertaken to evaluate outcomes with open repair and TEVAR for BTAI.

STUDY DESIGN: A retrospective review of all patients with BTAI at a single Level I trauma center from 2001 through 2009 was performed. Patients were grouped according to treatment modality, ie, open repair, TEVAR, or medical management. Direct comparison using standard statistical methods was made between patients undergoing open repair and TEVAR since late 2006 when TEVAR began at our institution using standard statistical methods. Outcomes variables included mortality, paraplegia, length of stay, ICU stay, and ventilator requirements.

RESULTS: There were 69 patients in the study, with 36 (52.2%) undergoing open repair, 10 receiving TEVAR (14.5%), 10 patients managed medically (14.5%), and 13 (18.8%) who died during triage. Overall mortality in the pre-TEVAR era was 29.6%. Since the introduction of TEVAR, there have been 8 open repairs. Patients undergoing open repair were significantly younger (32 vs 58 years; p = 0.002) and had smaller aortic diameter (18 mm vs 24.5 mm; p < 0.001) than those undergoing TEVAR. Overall mortality since the introduction of TEVAR has dropped to 12.0% (p = 0.097).

CONCLUSIONS: TEVAR and open repair should be viewed as complementary rather than competing modalities for the treatment of BTAI. Having both available allows selection of the most appropriate management technique for each patient, with subsequent improvement in outcomes.

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