Evolving experience with thoracic aortic stent graft repair

J Vasc Surg. 2002 Jun;35(6):1129-36. doi: 10.1067/mva.2002.123323.


Purpose: We reviewed our initial thoracic aorta (TA) stent graft experience in 28 patients from the perspective of treatment with homemade devices (Dacron over Gianturco Z stents; 14 cases) and a commercial device (Excluder; W.L. Gore Co, Flagstaff, Ariz; 14 cases).

Methods: From November 1996 to August 2001, 28 patients with a spectrum of disease (degenerative aneurysm, n = 18; chronic dissection, n = 4; pseudoaneurysm, n = 3, with 1 trauma and 2 anastomotic; intramural hematoma, n = 2; and coarctation, n = 1) underwent TA stent grafting. Clinical parameters included a mean age of 71 years, 12 female (43%) and 16 male (57%) patients, 14 of 28 patients (50%) with major comorbidities that prohibited open repair, and nine of 28 patients (32%) with urgent or ruptured conditions. Seven patients (25%) needed open surgical access to the aorta or iliac artery for either concomitant abdominal aortic aneurysm repair (n = 3) or device deployment (n = 4), and six of 28 patients (21%) needed left subclavian-carotid transposition to provide for an adequate proximal fixation site. Focal (<15 cm) grafts were used in 19 patients, and the remaining patients had at least two thirds of their descending aorta excluded.

Results: The procedural mortality rate was 3.5% (1/28 patients); three additional deaths, (1 device-related) occurred during the mean follow-up period of 17 months. Access artery complications occurred in six of 28 patients (21%), with one fatal. No immediate or late open conversions were performed. One patient needed urgent dilation and stenting of a collapsed stent graft 3 weeks after deployment. Serious systemic complications included temporary dialysis (n = 1), congestive heart failure (n = 1), and unstable angina (n = 1). Complete exclusion of the TA lesion was noted in 27 of 28 cases (96%). No cases of spinal cord ischemia were noted. Ease and accuracy of deployment was superior for the second generation (commercial) device.

Conclusion: TA stent graft repair, although in evolution, appears to be a safe and effective alternative to open repair for many patients with a spectrum of TA disease. Prospective trials for individual diseases will be necessary to define its ultimate role.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Thoracic / mortality
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Thoracic / therapy*
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis Implantation*
  • Comorbidity
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Morbidity
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Stents*
  • Time Factors