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Semin Intervent Radiol. 2010 Mar;27(1):55-67. doi: 10.1055/s-0030-1247889.

Endovascular repair of thoracic aortic injury: current thoughts and technical considerations.

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  • 1David Grant USAF Medical Center, Travis AFB, California.


Thoracic aortic traumatic injury is a highly morbid event. Mortality and paraplegia rates after emergent open repair remain high. Now, however, thoracic aortic endografting for trauma (TAET) is commonly used. It is appealing due to reduction of operative stress for the multiply injured trauma victim. This minimizing of stress and risk is secondary to avoidance of thoracotomy, single-lung ventilation, aortic cross-clamping, and the more complex anesthetic techniques required. Early and midterm results from TAET delineate improved outcomes, yet access and aortic constraints continue to challenge TAET. Questions regarding longer-term durability of endografts in younger patients remain unanswered. Broader application of TAET within endovascular programs is challenged by appropriate imaging, operating suite inventories, and the logistics and personnel required for TAET. Currently developed thoracic endograft devices are not ideal for TAET due to platform size and graft diameter. This is changing, however, as new modifications have been developed and trials are ongoing. In light of these collective factors, the management paradigm for traumatic aortic injury is beginning to favor TAET.


Aortic trauma; endovascular repair; thoracic aortic repair; thoracic endografts

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