Background: Thoracic aortic injury remains a leading cause of death after blunt trauma. Thoracic aortic stents have the potential to treat aortic tears using a less invasive approach. We have accumulated the largest series of patients treated with blunt thoracic aortic injury over a 2-year period.
Methods: From July 2005 to present, 26 patients presenting with blunt aortic injury were treated with thoracic aortic endografting; these patients were retrospectively compared with the prior 26 patients presenting with similar aortic injury who were treated by open surgical repair. A Severity Characterization of Trauma score calculated for each patient predicts mortality based on severity of injury and degree of physiologic derangement on presentation.
Results: Patients treated with endografting had a significantly shorter length of stay, less intraoperative blood loss, decreased 24-hour blood transfusion, and lower incidence of postoperative tracheostomy compared with patients undergoing open repair. Survival in both groups was similar despite a trend toward higher injury severity among patients treated with endografting.
Conclusions: This early experience suggests that aortic endografting may provide a safe and efficient treatment of aortic tears that cardiac surgeons can be successful in employing.