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THE JOURNAL OF CARDIOVASCULAR SURGERY

A Journal on Cardiac, Vascular and Thoracic Surgery


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The Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 2007 October;48(5):537-49

language: English

Stent-graft treatment of trauma to the supra-aortic arteries. A review

Schönholz C. J. 1, Uflacker R. 1, De Gregorio M. A. 2, Parodi J. C. 3

1 Interventional Radiology Heart and Vascular Center Medical University of South Carolina Charleston, SC, USA
2 Department of Interventional Radiology Zaragoza, Spain
3 Department of Surgery Jackson Memorial Hospital University of Miami, Miami, FL, USA


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Trauma to the carotid, subclavian, vertebral, or innominate arteries may be blunt or penetrating. Some injuries, such as those caused by central venous catheterization, are iatrogenic. Trauma-induced fistulas and pseudoaneurysms of the supra-aortic arteries are relatively rare, but may result in disabling neurologic symptoms or death. Traditional surgical approaches to supra-aortic artery trauma have high morbidity and mortality rates, especially in patients with multiple injuries and patients with a serious concomitant illness. The minimally invasive endovascular approach may offer an alternative that avoids the tissue damage, bleeding, infectious complications, pain and disability, long recovery time, and high financial cost associated with surgery. In the past 15 years, stent-grafts have evolved from bare-metal stents to which the operator attached autologous vein or a prosthetic material to manufactured balloon-expandable or self-expanding endoprosthetic systems. No devices designed specifically for use in the supra-aortic arteries are yet available. Nevertheless, the reported experience with stent-graft treatment of supra-aortic artery trauma is growing rapidly, although it remains limited to case reports and small series with relatively short follow-up times. Results have been very promising: complete lesion exclusion from the circulation and resolution of symptoms has been achieved in almost all cases, and few procedural complications and stent-graft stenoses and thromboses have been reported. The stent-graft approach warrants additional research on its long-term outcomes, as well as continued development of enhancements for the devices used.

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