Early Versus Delayed Thoracic Endovascular Aortic Repair for Blunt Thoracic Aortic Injury: A Propensity Score-Matched Analysis

Ann Surg. 2023 Oct 1;278(4):e848-e854. doi: 10.1097/SLA.0000000000005817. Epub 2023 Feb 13.


Objective: We examined early (≤24 h) versus delayed (>24 h) thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) for blunt thoracic aortic injury (BTAI), taking the aortic injury severity into consideration.

Background: Current trauma surgery guidelines recommend delayed TEVAR following BTAI. However, this recommendation was based on small studies, and specifics regarding recommendation strategies based on aortic injury grades are lacking.

Methods: Patients undergoing TEVAR for BTAI in the American College of Surgeons Trauma Quality Improvement Program between 2016 and 2019 were included and then stratified into 2 groups (early: ≤24 h vs. delayed: >24 h). In-hospital outcomes were compared after creating 1:1 propensity score-matched cohorts, matching for demographics, comorbidities, concomitant injuries, additional procedures, and aortic injury severity based on the acute aortic syndrome (AAS) classification.

Results: Overall, 1339 patients were included, of whom 1054(79%) underwent early TEVAR. Compared with the delayed group, the early group had significantly less severe head injuries (early vs delayed; 25% vs 32%; P =0.014), fewer early interventions for AAS grade 1 occurred, and AAS grade 3 aortic injuries often were intervened upon within 24 hours (grade 1: 28% vs 47%; grade 3: 49% vs 23%; P <0.001). After matching, the final sample included 548 matched patients. Compared with the delayed group, the early group had a significantly higher in-hospital mortality (8.8% vs 4.4%, relative risk: 2.2, 95% CI: 1.1-4.4; P =0.028), alongside a shorter length of hospital stay (5.0 vs 10 days; P =0.028), a shorter intensive care unit length of stay (4.0 vs 11 days; P <0.001) and fewer days on the ventilator (4.0 vs 6.5 days; P =0.036). Furthermore, regardless of the higher risk of acute kidney injury in the delayed group (3.3% vs 7.7%, relative risk: 0.43, 95% CI: 0.20-0.92; P =0.029), no other differences in in-hospital complications were observed between the early and delayed group.

Conclusion: In this propensity score-matched analysis, delayed TEVAR was associated with lower mortality risk, even after adjusting for aortic injury grade.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aorta / injuries
  • Aorta / surgery
  • Aorta, Thoracic / injuries
  • Aorta, Thoracic / surgery
  • Endovascular Aneurysm Repair
  • Endovascular Procedures* / methods
  • Humans
  • Propensity Score
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Thoracic Injuries* / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vascular System Injuries* / surgery
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating* / surgery