Purpose: To report our initial experience with endovascular grafting to treat ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs).
Methods: Three consecutive patients with severe comorbid illnesses and symptoms of aneurysm rupture and hemodynamic instability were treated with aortomonoiliac grafts. The Z-stent-based devices were implanted with the assistance of an occlusion balloon placed in the distal descending thoracic aorta.
Results: All patients survived the procedure with successfully excluded AAAs. Two patients had relatively short hospital stays (4 and 14 days), while the third required prolonged treatment for pre-existing conditions. All patients required blood transfusions; 2 developed significant coagulopathies. Definitive management was delayed significantly by imaging protocols and graft construction.
Conclusions: Endovascular repair of ruptured aortic aneurysms is feasible. Proximal aortic control is readily attainable with the use of an aortic occlusion balloon placed through the left axillary artery. The absence of a laparotomy, extensive retroperitoneal dissection, and aortic cross-clamping likely contributes to patient survival; however, the delay in operative therapy to obtain adequate imaging and construct an endograft could be a hindrance to the ultimate success of this approach. The concepts of alternative aortic imaging techniques and endograft design, construction, and storage must be addressed.