Techniques for preserving vertebral artery perfusion during thoracic aortic stent grafting requiring aortic arch landing. Vascular and endovascular surgery Woo, E. Y., Bavaria, J. E., Pochettino, A., Gleason, T. G., Woo, Y. J., Velazquez, O. C., Carpenter, J. P., Cheung, A. T., Fairman, R. M. 2006; 40 (5): 367-373


Thoracic endografting offers many advantages over open repair. However, delivery of the device can be difficult and may necessitate adjunctive procedures. We describe our techniques for preserving perfusion to the left subclavian artery despite endograft coverage to obtain a proximal seal zone. We reviewed our experience with the Talent thoracic stent graft (Medtronic, Santa Rosa, CA). From 1999 to 2003, 49 patients received this device (29 men, 20 women). Seventeen patients required adjunctive procedures to facilitate proximal graft placement. We performed left subclavian-to-left common carotid artery transposition (6), left common carotid-to-left subclavian artery bypass with ligation proximal to the vertebral artery (7), and left common carotid-to-left subclavian artery bypass with proximal coil embolization (4). Patients who had anatomy unfavorable to transposition or bypass with proximal ligation (large aneurysms or proximal vertebral artery origin) were treated with coil embolization of the proximal left subclavian artery in order to prevent subsequent type II endoleaks. Technical success rate of the carotid subclavian bypass was 100%. Patient follow-up ranged from 3 to 48 months with a mean of 12 months. Six patients had follow-up <6 months owing to recent graft placement. Primary patency was 100%. No neurologic events occurred during the procedure or upon follow-up. One patient had a transient chyle leak that spontaneously resolved in 24 hours. Another patient had a phrenic nerve paresis that resolved after 3 weeks. We believe that it is important to maintain patency of the vertebral artery specifically when a patent right vertebral system and an intact basilar artery is not demonstrated. Furthermore, we describe a novel technique of coil embolization of the proximal left subclavian artery in conjunction with left common carotid-to-left subclavian artery bypass. This circumvents the need for potentially hazardous mediastinal dissection and ligation of the proximal left subclavian artery in cases of large proximal aneurysms or unfavorable vertebral artery anatomy.

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