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Ann Vasc Surg. 2009 Jul-Aug;23(4):478-84. doi: 10.1016/j.avsg.2009.03.004. Epub 2009 May 21.

Initial results of a thoracic aortic endovascular program: safer in high-risk patients.

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  • 1Michigan State University/Grand Rapids Medical Education and Research Centre/General Surgery Residency, Grand Rapids, MI, USA. chadwick.stouffer@surgery.ufl.edu


Results are presented from our single-institutional experience with thoracic endovascular aortic repair to confirm that it is safe in patients with significant comorbidities. A retrospective review of all patients undergoing endovascular or open thoracic aortic repair at our institution since 2002 was performed. Main outcome measures included clinical presentation, demographics, preoperative risk factors, operative details, and clinical outcomes. The endovascular group included 37 patients (22 males), whereas the open group included 19 patients (eight males). Eight patients per group were treated emergently for trauma or rupture (22% and 42%, respectively; p=0.11). Endovascular patients were significantly older with more comorbid conditions (p<0.05). However, the overall perioperative complication rate was similar in the two groups (32.4% and 31.6%, respectively). Postoperative renal failure occurred only in four open patients (21.1% vs. 0%, p < 0.05). Operative time, ventilator days, and total length of stay were also greater for open patients (p<0.05). There was one death in the endovascular group and three in the open group (2.7% and 15.8%, respectively; p=0.07). Endovascular patients had shorter operative time and length of stay, fewer ventilator days and intensive care unit days, and fewer transfusions. Although the endovascular patients were significantly older with more comorbidities, the complication rate was similar to the open group. Also, there was a trend toward lower mortality in the endovascular group (p=0.07). Endovascular repair is the procedure of choice for treating the descending thoracic aorta in high-risk patients even in the emergent setting.

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