Endovascular exclusion of descending thoracic aortic aneurysms and chronic dissections: Initial clinical results with the AneuRx device

J Vasc Surg. 2001 May;33(5):927-34. doi: 10.1067/mva.2001.114998.


Objective: The objective of this study was to analyze a single-center experience in which descending thoracic aortic aneurysms (TAAs) were treated with a new self-expanding endovascular prosthesis (Medtronic AVE).

Methods: Twenty-six patients (13 men, 13 women) with American Society of Anesthesiology grades II to IV and ages ranging from 53 to 92 years (average, 74 years) consented as part of a Phase I Food and Drug Administration-approved trial. Treated lesions included TAAs that were 5 to 10 cm in diameter, 12 diffuse dilations or fusiform aneurysms, and four saccular aneurysms. There were also nine chronic dissections (2 aneurysmal dilations and 7 symptomatic acute recurrent dissections). Three patients (2 with diffuse/fusiform and 1 with dissection) presented with hemothorax, contrast extravasation, or both.

Results: Twenty-five of the 26 patients who consented (96% technical success) were treated successfully with no surgical conversions. Eighteen patients have been followed up from 1 to 22 months (average, 9 months). One patient is lost to follow-up, and six patients have died (24%). One procedure-related death (4%) occurred within the 30-day postoperative period and was caused by diffuse embolization. There were no device-related deaths. Five additional patients (20%) have died during the study of comorbid conditions. Complications included one massive myocardial infarction 24 hours after the procedure requiring balloon counterpulsation and long-term dialysis, one cardiac tamponade resulting from central line placement before the procedure, one progression of aneurysm dilation proximal to the device at 1 year, and one bilateral lower extremity paralysis occurring 12 hours after successful deployment. Seven patients (5 women) had femoral artery reconstructions or iliac artery grafts to repair injuries during deployment catheter passage. Other significant parameters included average procedure time (2 hours 40 minutes; range, 1 hour 30 minutes to 5 hours 30 minutes), 450 cc average blood loss (n = 25; 100-3000 cc) being replaced by means of autotransfusion with only two patients receiving banked blood products, and an average 2 days to resumption of normal diet, 1 day in the intensive care unit, and 5 days' hospitalization postprocedure in uncomplicated cases (n = 22). One patient had an endoleak immediately after the procedure that sealed without treatment. Follow-up of all patients ranging from 1 to 22 months (average, 9 months; n = 18) demonstrates continued exclusion of the aneurysm with no endoleaks and either stable or decreasing aneurysm volume, except in one patient with volume increase and no obvious etiology who continues to be investigated.

Conclusions: The study suggests that endovascular prosthesis exclusion of TAAs with an AneuRx self-expanding tubular device may be effective in many patients who are at significant risk for open surgical repair and substantiates further clinical investigation to confirm these findings.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase I

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Thoracic / diagnostic imaging
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Thoracic / surgery*
  • Aortic Dissection / diagnostic imaging
  • Aortic Dissection / surgery*
  • Catheterization / adverse effects
  • Chronic Disease
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Stents* / adverse effects
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome