A systematic review of open, hybrid, and endovascular repair of aberrant subclavian artery and Kommerell's diverticulum treatment

J Vasc Surg. 2023 Feb;77(2):642-649.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2022.07.010. Epub 2022 Jul 15.


Background: Aberrant subclavian artery (AScA) with or without associated Kommerell's diverticulum (KD) is the most frequently encountered anomaly of the aortic arch, it may be life threatening, especially when associated with aneurysmal degeneration. The best management is still debated and depends on many clinical and anatomical factors. A systematic review was conducted to assess the current evidence on the treatment options and their efficacy and safety for AscA and KD repairs.

Methods: A literature search in PubMed and Cochrane Library was performed, and articles that were published from January 1947 to August 2021 reporting on AscA and KD management were identified. Multicenter studies, single-center series, and case series with three or more patients were considered eligible in the present review. A comparison of outcomes of patients who underwent open surgery (OS), a hybrid approach (HA), and total endovascular repair (ER) (ie, 30-day mortality and stroke were analyzed when available and compared among the three groups (P < .05; Benjamini and Hochberg-adjusted P < .05; Bonferroni-adjusted P < .05). Titles, abstracts, and full texts were evaluated by two authors independently. Primary outcomes included survival rate, perioperative stroke, arm ischemia, and spinal cord ischemia. Endoleak, in the case of HA and ER, and reintervention rates were considered outcomes.

Results: Three hundred thirty-one articles were initially evaluated and 30 studies, totaling 426 patients treated for AScA with 324 KD, were included. Of the 426 patients, 241 were male (56.5%), and the mean patient age was 57.9 ± 12.0 years. The approach was OS in 228 patients, HA in 147 patients, and ER in 51. Dysphagia was the most common presentation in 133 cases. Aortic rupture was observed in 16 of the 426 patients (3.8%), including 14 AScA/KD (3.3%) aneurysm rupture. KD maximum diameter varied widely from 12.6 to 63.6 mm. The overall 30-day mortality was 20 (4.7%) (OS group 8/228 [3.5%]; HA group 10/147 [6.8%]; ER 2/51 [3.9%]; P = NS). The overall stroke rate was 4.9% (21/426) (OS group 10/228 [4.4%]; HA group 6/147 [4.1%]; ER group 5/51 [9.8%]; P = NS), including nine transient and nondisabling neurological deficits. Overall secondary procedures for complications were reported in 36 of the 426 cases (8.4%), mostly owing to endoleak. Follow-up varied from 13 to 74 months.

Conclusions: This systematic review assessed the current outcomes of the three types of therapeutic management for AScA and KD and demonstrated that they are all relatively safe and effective, providing satisfactory early and midterm outcomes. Long-term outcomes are warranted, especially for total ERs since the long-term durability of stent grafts remains unknown.

Keywords: Aberrant subclavian artery; Aneurysm; Aorta; Dissection; Endovascular; Hybrid; Kommerell’s diverticulum; Open repair; Systematic review.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aorta, Thoracic / abnormalities
  • Aorta, Thoracic / diagnostic imaging
  • Aorta, Thoracic / surgery
  • Aortic Rupture* / etiology
  • Diverticulum* / diagnostic imaging
  • Diverticulum* / surgery
  • Endoleak / complications
  • Endovascular Procedures* / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Subclavian Artery / abnormalities
  • Subclavian Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Subclavian Artery / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome

Supplementary concepts

  • Aberrant subclavian artery