Purpose: To highlight the risk of intraoperative rupture as a complication of endovascular aortic repair.
Clinical features: An 81-yr-old man was admitted for endovascular aortic repair of a 6 cm infrarenal abdominal aortic aneurysm. After establishment of a conduction blockade using a combined spinal-epidural technique, a balloon-activated endovascular stent-graft was advanced to the proximal aneurysmal neck. Approximately four minutes after the stent-graft was deployed, the mean arterial pressure decreased to 30 mmHg and the heart rate increased to 135 bpm. While fluid and vasoactive medications were administered and the airway was secured, repeat aortography confirmed contrast extravasation into the retroperitoneal space at the junction of the proximal aortic neck and the aneurysm sac. The angioplasty deployment balloon was repositioned and inflated proximal to the presumed site of aortic rupture, thus providing aortic control until an open repair of the aorta was undertaken.
Conclusion: Although endovascular stent-graft placement may be a less invasive method than conventional open aortic reconstruction, it must be recognized that the potential for devastating consequences such as aortic rupture is present.