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A Journal on Cardiac, Vascular and Thoracic Surgery

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Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 2009 June;50(3):381-5

language: English

Endovascular proximal control of ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms: the internal aortic clamp

Assar A. N., Zarins C. K.

Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Stanford University Medical Center Stanford, CA, USA


Ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm (RAAA) is the most common and devastating complication affecting a patient with abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). Despite advances in surgery and critical care, the mortality rate associated with RAAA remains largely unchanged. Emergency open repair is the gold standard conventional treatment of RAAA but is associated with a high mortality rate. The physiologic challenges associated with general anaesthetic induction such as loss of the sympathetic vasoconstrictor tone with consequent hypotension, and the anatomic challenges associated with external aortic cross-clamping such as calcification, friability, or poor visualisation of the aneurysm neck, have led to the adoption of endovascular techniques in the surgical treatment of RAAA. Promising results of endovascular repair of ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm (REVAR) have been reported. In addition, the provision of endovascular aortic control by inflating a compliant aortic occlusion balloon (AOB) proximal to the ruptured aneurysm, as an internal aortic clamp, has been successfully used in haemodynamically unstable patients undergoing either REVAR or emergency open repair of RAAA. An AOB is inserted under local anaesthesia and can be introduced through either the transbrachial or the transfemoral routes, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. This review aimed at providing an up-to-date overview of the current knowledge concerning endovascular proximal aortic control using an AOB with emphasis on the rationale, position, benefits, and drawbacks of its use.

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