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REVIEW  MANAGEMENT OF DESCENDING THORACIC AORTA DISEASES 

The Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 2019 June;60(3):298-312

DOI: 10.23736/S0021-9509.19.10905-6

Copyright © 2019 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Should endovascular approach be considered as the first option for thoraco-abdominal aortic aneurysms?

Jussi M. KÄRKKÄINEN 1, Keouna PATHER 1, Emanuel R. TENORIO 1, Barend MEES 2, Gustavo S. ODERICH 1

1 Advanced Endovascular Aortic Research Program, Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA; 2 Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, The Netherlands



Open surgical repair has been the gold standard for treatment of thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms (TAAAs). The technique of open TAAA repair has evolved from the use of “island” patch incorporation to separate branch vessel bypass, from “clamp and go” to routine use of distal perfusion, and towards more extensive repair in patients with connective tissue disorders. Open TAAA repair can be done with excellent results in highly specialized centers. However, these operations continue to carry excessive risk when performed outside large aortic centers, with 30-day mortality estimated on 20% according to statewide and national databases. In octogenarians, the mortality of elective open TAAA repair can be up to 40%. Endovascular repair was introduced as an alternative to open surgical repair in the elderly or higher risk patients using hybrid reconstruction, parallel grafts or fenestrated and branched endografts. Several large aortic centers have developed dedicated clinical programs to advance techniques of fenestrated-branched endovascular repair using patient-specific and off-the-shelf devices, offering a minimally invasive alternative to open repair allowing treatment of increasingly older and sicker TAAA patients. During the last decade, improvements in device design, patient selection, spinal cord injury protocols, and perioperative management have contributed to a continued decline in morbidity and mortality of fenestrated-branched endovascular aortic repair, challenging open surgical repair as the new “gold standard” for treatment of TAAAs. Despite the improved results, endovascular repair is a highly technical procedure that requires vast experience, involves a significant risk of complications, and also, has an impact on patients’ physical quality of life. In this article, we review the current technical aspects of endovascular TAAA repair with the main focus on the evidence of open versus endovascular outcomes of TAAA repair.


KEY WORDS: Aortic aneurysm, thoracic; Endovascular procedures; Review

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