The advent of endovascular prostheses to treat descending thoracic aortic lesions offers an alternative approach in patients who are poor candidates for surgery. The development of this approach includes complications that are common to the endovascular treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysms and some that are unique to thoracic endografting.We conducted a retrospective review of 60 emergent and high-risk patients with thoracic aortic aneurysms (TAAs) and dissections treated with endovascular prostheses over 4 years under existing investigational protocols or on an emergent compassionate use basis.Fifty-nine of the 60 patients received treatment, with one access failure. Thirty-five patients received treatment of TAAs. Four of these procedures were performed emergently because of active hemorrhage. Twenty-four patients with aortic dissections (16 acute, 8 chronic) also received treatment. Eight of the patients with acute dissection had active hemorrhage at the time of treatment. Three devices were used: AneuRx (Medtronic; n = 31), Talent (Medtronic; n = 27), and Excluder (Gore; n = 1). Nineteen secondary endovascular procedures were performed in 14 patients. Most were secondary to endoleak (14 of 19), most commonly caused by modular separation of overlapping devices (n = 8). Other endoleaks included 4 proximal or distal type I leaks and 2 undefined endoleaks. The remaining secondary procedures were performed to treat recurrent dissection (n = 1), pseudoaneurysm enlargement (n = 3), and endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm repair (n = 1). One patient underwent surgical repair of a retrograde ascending aortic dissection after endograft placement. Procedure-related mortality was 17% in the TAA group and 13% in the dissection group, including 2 acute retrograde dissections that resulted in death from cardiac tamponade. Overall mortality was 28% at 2-year follow-up.Although significant morbidity and mortality remain, endovascular repair of descending TAAs and dissections in patients at high-risk patients can be accomplished with acceptable outcomes compared with traditional open repair. The major cause for repeat intervention in these patients was endoleak, most commonly caused by device separation. Improved understanding of these complications may result in a decrease in secondary procedures, morbidity, and mortality in these patients. The need for secondary interventions in a significant number of patients underscores the necessity for continued surveillance.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jvs.2004.03.051
View details for Web of Science ID 000227388100006
View details for PubMedID 15297815