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Greiner A., Kalder J., Jalaie H., Jacobs M. J.
European Vascular Center Aachen-Maastricht, Department of Vascular Surgery, University Hospital RWTH Aachen, Aachen, Germany
At present, endovascular therapy is a well-established treatment for different types of thoracic aortic pathologies. There is growing evidence, that thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) has advantages over open repair with regard to perioperative morbidity and mortality in the treatment of thoracic aortic aneurysms. However, in up to 50% of TEVAR procedures the proximal end of the stent-graft will (partly) cover the origin of the left subclavian artery (LSA) in order to achieve a save sealing zone. Intracranial stroke and paraplegia are feared complications and might be associated with LSA exclusion from the circulation. Unfortunately, no reliable technique is available to assess the individual risk of stroke and paraplegia in case of LSA coverage, so that the indication for LSA revascularization continues to be matter of assuming and guessing. The quality of available evidence on necessity or superfluity to revascularize the LSA is very low and studies report, to some extent, controversial outcome after intentional LSA coverage. In the light of the devastating consequences for patients in case of neurological complications due to LSA coverage the question of prophylactic LSA revascularization remains a significant problem which is elucidated and discussed in this manuscript.