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A Journal on Cardiac, Vascular and Thoracic Surgery


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The Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 2005 February;46(1):9-17

language: English

Endovascular stent graft selection for the treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysms

Faries P. L., Dayal R., Lin S, Trociolla S., Rhee J., Craig Kent K.

Division of Vascular Surgery Weill Cornell Medical College Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons New York-Presbyterian Hospital New York, NY, USA


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Minimally invasive endovascular techniques for the treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) have significantly reduced the morbidity of these procedures as compared with standard surgical repair. In addition, patients with extensive comorbid medical illnesses in whom standard operative repair is contra-indicated, may be successfully treated using endovascular means. A variety of endovascular stent grafts are currently being used clinically for endovascular AAA repair. The characteristics of these stent grafts vary significantly. In selecting the specific stent graft to be used for endovascular AAA repair, these specific characteristics must be considered particularly with regard to the individual patient’s anatomic and physiologic characteristics. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved 4 endovascular stent grafts for the treatment of AAA: the Medtronic AneuRx, the W. L. Gore Excluder, the Cook Zenith and the Guidant Ancure. The Zenith graft received approval for marketing in 2003 and has gained relatively wide usage, in part due to its ability to treat aneurysms with relatively large diameter implantations zones. Also in 2003 the Guidant Corporation withdrew the Ancure graft from marketing and distribution. Enrollment has also been recently completed for the phase II FDA trials of the Medtronic Talent graft and the Cordis Fortron graft. These devices have been approved for use in the European Union and are awaiting FDA panel meeting in the United States. Comparative analysis of several of the available stent grafts has been performed. Results have varied with regard to the need for secondary interventions, aneurysm sac size reduction and the occurrence of continued perfusion of the aneurysm sac. Several significant advances have also occurred recently in stent graft research and development. Of particular significance has been the initiation of the phase I trial of the Trivascular Enovus graft. Deployment of the Trivascular graft may be accomplished through a delivery system that is considerably reduced in profile. The potential for percutaneous application of the graft may be available in the future. The indications for use of endovascular grafts as compared to standard open surgery have not yet been fully defined. Endovascular stent grafts in current use have limitations and their use must be tempered accordingly, until their long-term effectiveness is more completely evaluated. This article describes the general principles of use for endovascular devices for the repair of AAAs. It details the features and results for the devices in current use and highlights the factors that influence the selection of specific stent graft types.

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