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The Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 2019 August;60(4):518-25

DOI: 10.23736/S0021-9509.18.10443-5


language: English

Aortic treatment in connective tissue disease

Giovanni TINELLI 1 , Marco FERRARESI 1, Amelia C. WATKINS 2, Adrien HERTAULT 3, Raphael SOLER 4, Richard AZZAOUI 3, Dominique FABRE 4, Jonathan SOBOCINSKI 3, Stéphan HAULON 4

1 Vascular Unit, Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Gemelli Foundation IRCCS, School of Medicine, Sacred Heart Catholic University, Rome, Italy; 2 Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA; 3 Aortic Center, Lille University Hospital, Lille, France; 4 Aortic Center, Marie Lannelongue Hospital, Paris Sud University, Le Plessis Robinson, France


Connective tissue disease (CTD) represents a group of genetic conditions characterized by disruptive matrix remodeling. When this process involves aortic and vascular wall, patients with CTD have a high risk of developing arterial aneurysms, dissections and ruptures. Open surgical repair is still the gold standard therapy for patients with CTD with reasonable morbidity and mortality risk. The surgical treatment of CTD often requires multiple operations. In the endovascular era, fenestrated and branched stent grafts may play a role in reducing the complications of multiple open operations. Although the long-term results of endovascular treatment in the setting of CTD are unknown, it is generally accepted that endovascular treatment is restricted to selected patients with high surgical risk. In an emergency setting, endovascular intervention can serve as a lifesaving bridge to elective open aortic repair. Aortic centers performing a large volume of complex open and endovascular aortic repairs have started to combine these two techniques in a staged fashion. The goal is to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with extensive aortic repairs in CTD patients. For this reason, recommend endovascular therapy when a “graft-to-graft” approach is possible. In this scenario, the surgeon who performs the open repair must take into consideration future interventions. Surgical repair in any aortic segment should allow creation of proximal and distal landing zones over 4 cm to secure the sealing of a future stent graft. Connective tissue disease should be treated with a multidisciplinary approach, in high volume centers. Endovascular treatment represents a potential option in patients at high risk for open repair. Staged hybrid procedures have emerged as a way to reduce spinal cord ischemia and avoid multiple open surgeries. The aim of this article is to discuss the management of aortic diseases in CTD, focusing on to the role of standard open surgery and emerging endovascular treatment, and to give an overview of the few series published regarding this topic with a small number of patients.

KEY WORDS: Connective tissue diseases; Aortic treatment; Vascular surgical procedures

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