Resuscitative Endovascular Balloon Occlusion of the Aorta and Resuscitative Thoracotomy in Select Patients with Hemorrhagic Shock: Early Results from the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma's Aortic Occlusion in Resuscitation for Trauma and Acute Care Surgery Registry

J Am Coll Surg. 2018 May;226(5):730-740. doi: 10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2018.01.044. Epub 2018 Feb 6.


Background: Aortic occlusion is a potentially valuable tool for early resuscitation in patients nearing extremis or in arrest from severe hemorrhage.

Study design: The American Association for the Surgery of Trauma's Aortic Occlusion in Resuscitation for Trauma and Acute Care Surgery registry identified trauma patients without penetrating thoracic injury undergoing aortic occlusion at the level of the descending thoracic aorta (resuscitative thoracotomy [RT] or zone 1 resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta [REBOA]) in the emergency department (ED). Survival outcomes relative to the timing of CPR need and admission hemodynamic status were examined.

Results: Two hundred and eighty-five patients were included: 81.8% were males, with injury due to penetrating mechanisms in 41.4%; median age was 35.0 years (interquartile range 29 years) and median Injury Severity Score was 34.0 (interquartile range 18). Resuscitative thoracotomy was used in 71%, and zone 1 REBOA in 29%. Overall survival beyond the ED was 50% (RT 44%, REBOA 63%; p = 0.004) and survival to discharge was 5% (RT 2.5%, REBOA 9.6%; p = 0.023). Discharge Glasgow Coma Scale score was 15 in 85% of survivors. Prehospital CPR was required in 60% of patients with a survival beyond the ED of 37% and survival to discharge of 3% (all p > 0.05). Patients who did not require any CPR before had a survival beyond the ED of 70% (RT 48%, REBOA 93%; p < 0.001) and survival to discharge of 13% (RT 3.4%, REBOA 22.2%, p = 0.048). If aortic occlusion patients did not require CPR but presented with hypotension (systolic blood pressure <90 mmHg; 9% [65% RT; 35% REBOA]), they achieved survival beyond the ED in 65% (p = 0.009) and survival to discharge of 15% (RT 0%, REBOA 44%; p = 0.008).

Conclusions: Overall, REBOA can confer a survival benefit over RT, particularly in patients not requiring CPR. Considerable additional study is required to definitively recommend REBOA for specific subsets of injured patients.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aorta, Thoracic*
  • Balloon Occlusion / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Resuscitation / methods*
  • Shock, Hemorrhagic / etiology
  • Shock, Hemorrhagic / mortality
  • Shock, Hemorrhagic / therapy*
  • Survival Rate
  • Thoracic Injuries / complications*
  • Thoracotomy / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States