Covered stent placement for hepatic artery pseudoaneurysm

Abdom Radiol (NY). 2020 Feb 24. doi: 10.1007/s00261-020-02452-3. Online ahead of print.


Purpose: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of covered stent placement for the treatment of hepatic artery pseudoaneurysm (HAP).

Methods: Between March 2006 and March 2019, 17 consecutive patients underwent emergency covered stent placement for treatment of HAP. There were 12 men and 5 women aged 24-71 years, with an average age of 49.4 years. Eleven patients had undergone Whipple procedure, 3 had hepatic abscess following hepatectomy, 2 had undergone hepatectomy under extracorporeal circulation, and 1 had received surgical exploration after a car accident. The average interval from surgical intervention to massive bleeding was 15.3 days (range: 6-35 days). After HAP was confirmed by angiography, 1-3 covered stent grafts (3-8 mm in diameter and 13 mm-5 cm in length) were implanted. Adequate drainage, anti-infection treatment, and symptomatic treatment were offered after stent placement, and no anticoagulation or antiplatelet drug was used.

Results: The interventions were successful in all 17 patients. Angiography revealed pseudoaneurysms in common hepatic artery in 16 patients (in gastroduodenal artery stumps in 4 patients) and hemorrhage from a ruptured right hepatic artery in 1 patient. All patients were successfully implanted with 1-3 covered stent grafts. Bleeding was completely controlled in 12 patients (stent diameter: 4.5-8 mm). Four patients (stent diameter: 3-4.5 mm) experienced bleeding recurrence 1 h to 3 days after stent implantation, and type 1 endoleaks were identified during second angiography. Finally, these 4 patients died of multiple organ failure 2-10 days after embolization/blockage. The remaining patient suffered from abdominal hemorrhage again 2 weeks after stent implantation, and second angiography showed hemorrhage from a branch of the superior mesenteric artery; no bleeding occurred after embolization. Thirteen patients survived at discharge, and the average length of hospital stay was 26.53 days (range: 11-58 days). The average follow-up time was 23 months (range: 16-37 months), during which 6 patients died of tumor progression. No bleeding recurred during the follow-up period, and routine color Doppler ultrasound revealed that the common hepatic artery was patent and the blood flow was smooth at the stent implantation site.

Conclusion: Covered stent placement is a safe and effective alternative for treating HAP patients with high risk of severe complications after hepatic artery embolization. Larger stent grafts (> 4 mm in diameter) may achieve better prognosis.

Keywords: Covered stent; HAP; Hepatic artery embolization; Hepatic artery pseudoaneurysm.