Systematic review and meta-analysis of published studies on endovascular repair of thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms with the t-Branch off-the-shelf multibranched endograft

J Vasc Surg. 2020 Aug;72(2):716-725.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2020.01.049. Epub 2020 Apr 1.


Background: Endovascular treatment of thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms is becoming increasingly popular in clinical practice, mainly because of its reduced perioperative mortality and morbidity. However, the custom-made stent graft platform that companies offer requires detailed preoperative planning and production time that can take up to 12 weeks. This may delay surgery in elective patients and is not an option for urgent or emergent cases. To surpass this limitation, the t-Branch (Cook Medical, Bloomington, Ind) was launched in 2012 in Europe as the first off-the-shelf standardized multibranched endograft for the endovascular treatment of thoracoabdominal aneurysms. Our aim was to systematically evaluate all published experience with this commercially available off-the-shelf thoracoabdominal stent graft.

Methods: We performed a systematic inquiry of the medical databases to identify all published studies that reported on the outcomes of patients treated with the t-Branch stent graft and then conducted a qualitative synthesis and meta-analysis of the results. The main end points studied were technical success, mortality, major stroke, spinal cord ischemia, primary branch patency, and renal insufficiency during the first 30 days along with midterm mortality and reintervention rate. We estimated pooled proportions and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

Results: We identified seven retrospective studies published between 2014 and 2018, with a total of 197 patients (mean age, 72.3 ± 7 years; 70% male). Among 165 patients, 45% were symptomatic and 19% were treated for a ruptured aortic aneurysm. In 197 patients, pooled technical success was 92.75% (95% CI, 83.9%-98.7%), and in 10% of the cases, an early endoleak was detected (95% CI, 0%-43.7%). Early mortality was 5.8% (95% CI, 2.5%-10%), and major stroke was observed in 4% of the patients (95% CI, 0.96%-8.40%). The rate of spinal cord ischemia was 12.2% (95% CI, 4.1%-23.2%), with the rate of permanent paraplegia at 1.3% (95% CI, 0%-8.7%). Acute renal failure was 18.7% (95% CI, 9.1%-30.4%), whereas primary branch patency was calculated at 98.2% (95% CI, 96.7%-99.2%). Mean follow-up was 15 ± 7 months. During this time, midterm mortality (after 30 days) was 6.9% (95% CI, 2.44%-12.8%) and pooled reintervention rate was 5.7% (95% CI, 1.70%-11.4%).

Conclusions: This pooled analysis indicated good technical success rate after t-Branch endograft implantation, with acceptable mortality and neurologic complications despite a high rate of urgent procedures. Thoracoabdominal endovascular repair with the t-Branch endograft is a feasible and safe therapeutic option for elective and urgent patients.

Keywords: Branched endovascular aortic aneurysm repair; Off-the-shelf multibranched stent graft; Thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm; t-Branch.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Thoracic / mortality
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Thoracic / physiopathology
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Thoracic / surgery*
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis Implantation / adverse effects
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis Implantation / instrumentation*
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis Implantation / mortality
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis*
  • Endovascular Procedures / adverse effects
  • Endovascular Procedures / instrumentation*
  • Endovascular Procedures / mortality
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / mortality
  • Postoperative Complications / therapy
  • Prosthesis Design*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vascular Patency