Long-term results of endovascular repair for descending thoracic aortic aneurysms

J Vasc Surg. 2018 Feb;67(2):363-368. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2017.06.094. Epub 2017 Aug 26.


Objective: Since thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for the treatment of descending thoracic aneurysms in March 2005, excellent 30-day and midterm outcomes have been described. However, data on long-term outcomes are lacking with Medicare data suggesting that TEVAR has worse late survival compared with open descending repair. As such, the purpose of this study was to examine the long-term outcomes for on-label use of TEVAR for repair of descending thoracic aneurysms.

Methods: Of 579 patients undergoing TEVAR between March 2005 and April 2016 at a single referral center for aortic surgery, 192 (33.2%) were performed for a descending thoracic aneurysm indication in accordance with the device instructions for use, including 106 fusiform (55.2%), 80 saccular (41.7%), and 6 with both saccular and fusiform (3.1%) aneurysms. All aneurysms were located distal to the left subclavian artery and proximal to the celiac axis, and hybrid procedures including arch or visceral debranching were excluded with the exception of left carotid-subclavian artery bypass. Aortic dissection and intramural hematoma as indications for TEVAR were also excluded. Primary 30-day and in-hospital outcomes included mortality, stroke, need for new permanent dialysis, and permanent paraparesis or paraplegia. Primary long-term outcomes included survival and rate of reintervention secondary to endoleak. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to estimate long-term overall and aorta-specific survivals.

Results: The mean age was 71.1 ± 10.4 years. All aneurysms in this series were degenerative in nature and no patients with a connective tissue disorder were included. The mean aortic diameter was 5.9 ± 1.5 cm at time of intervention. Rates of 30-day and in-hospital mortality, stroke, permanent dialysis, and permanent paraparesis and paraplegia were 4.7%, 2.1%, 0.5%, and 0.5%, respectively. At a mean follow-up of 69 ± 44 months (range, 3-141 months), there were 68 late deaths (35.4%), two of which were due to aortic rupture. Overall and aorta-specific survivals at 141 months (11.8 years) were 45.7% and 96.2%, respectively. Endovascular reintervention was required in 14 patients (7.3%) owing to type I (n = 10), type II (n = 2), and type III (n = 2) endoleak, all of which subsequently resolved. No patient required open reintervention for any cause.

Conclusions: Long-term (12-year) aorta-specific survival after on-label endovascular repair of degenerative descending thoracic aneurysms in nonsyndromic patients is excellent (96%) with sustained protection from rupture, and a low rate of reintervention owing to endoleak (7%). Endovascular repair should be considered the treatment of choice for this pathology.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Thoracic / diagnostic imaging
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Thoracic / mortality
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Thoracic / surgery*
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis Implantation* / adverse effects
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis Implantation* / instrumentation
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis Implantation* / mortality
  • Databases, Factual
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Endovascular Procedures* / adverse effects
  • Endovascular Procedures* / instrumentation
  • Endovascular Procedures* / mortality
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • North Carolina
  • Postoperative Complications / mortality
  • Postoperative Complications / therapy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome