Purpose: To evaluate the early and midterm outcomes after stent-graft implantation for dissection in the descending thoracic aorta.
Methods: Sixteen custom-made endovascular stent-grafts were implanted in 15 patients (10 men; mean age 55.9 +/- 13.7 years, range 32-82) with descending thoracic aortic dissection. Indications for stent-graft implantation were persistent symptoms unresponsive to medical treatment or progressive enlargement of the false lumen. Clinical and imaging surveillance with computed tomography was performed within 1 month of the procedure and at 3 to 6-month intervals in follow-up.
Results: Endovascular stent-graft implantation at the target site was successful in 14 (93%) patients; 1 device migrated, leaving the false lumen open to flow in the failed case. One (7%) patient who was treated emergently for rupture died suddenly 2 days after the procedure. Over an average follow-up of 31.5 +/- 23.8 months, 1 (7%) patient died and 2 (14%) patients underwent surgical treatment due to recurrent dissection. The remaining 10 patients showed complete thrombosis of the false lumen; in 3, the false lumen completely resolved.
Conclusions: Endovascular stent-graft implantation in descending thoracic aortic dissection is a feasible, safe, and effective treatment modality. However, further studies are necessary in a greater number of patients to determine if wider application of this minimally invasive procedure is justified.