Progress in the management of type I thoracoabdominal and descending thoracic aortic aneurysms

Ann Vasc Surg. 1999 Sep;13(5):457-62. doi: 10.1007/s100169900284.


We reviewed our categorization of patients at high risk for neurologic complications in the repair of descending thoracic and thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm in which we used cerebrospinal fluid drainage and distal aortic perfusion (adjuncts). A total of 409 patients were operated on by one surgeon for descending thoracic or thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm between 1992 and 1997. Of these patients, 232 had total descending thoracic or type I thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm, 131 (56%) of whom were operated on with adjuncts. These patients were compared to 101 nonadjunct patients for demographic variables, intraoperative variables, blood product consumption, and neurologic status. In 131 consecutive patients with adjuncts, all but one awoke from anesthesia without neurologic deficit. In nonadjunct patients, however, neurologic deficit occurred in 6 of 101 (6%) (p < 0.003). The adjunct group had more preoperative renal insufficiency (p < 0.05), an established risk factor for neurologic deficit (odds ratio = 2.2 in published studies). All other risk factors for neurologic deficit occurred with comparable frequency in both groups. We conclude that the introduction of adjuncts has dramatically reduced the neurologic risk associated with type I thoracoabdominal or total descending thoracic aortic repair. Previously considered high risk for neurologic complications, these aneurysms can now be reclassified as low risk in surgery accompanied by adjuncts. Future investigations will focus on type II thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm as the major source of neurologic morbidity.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal / classification
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal / surgery*
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Thoracic / classification
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Thoracic / surgery*
  • Aortic Dissection / surgery
  • Blood Transfusion
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Pressure
  • Child
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Drainage
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Care
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Perfusion
  • Renal Insufficiency / complications
  • Reoperation
  • Risk Factors
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / etiology