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J Vasc Surg. 2007 Apr;45(4):667-76.

Contemporary results of open repair of ruptured descending thoracic and thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms.

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  • 1Division of Vascular Surgery, University of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.



The purpose of this study was to evaluate the results of open repair for ruptured descending thoracic and thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm (RDTAA).


A retrospective review identified 41 consecutive cases of open surgical repair in 40 patients presenting with nontraumatic, atherosclerotic RDTAA from 1996 to 2006. Patients with traumatic injuries or complicated dissections were excluded. Patient characteristics and preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative variables were collected from the medical record. Univariate and logistic regression were used to identify factors contributing to mortality and morbidity in these patients.


The operative mortality rate was 26.8% (11/41). All but two deaths occurred within 24 hours of operation; seven were intraoperative. Overall actuarial survival rates at 1 and 2 years were 53.7% and 47.1%, respectively. For those who survived to hospital discharge, the respective numbers were 73.3% and 64.4%. Intraoperative hypotension and blood transfusion requirements were independent predictors of perioperative death. Octogenarians had a mortality rate equivalent to that of the younger population (25% vs 27.6%; not significant). There was a strong trend toward an improved outcome in the latter part (2003-2006) compared with the first part (1995-2002; 13.6% vs 42.1%, respectively; P = .075).


Direct open repair for RDTAA can be achieved with acceptable mortality and morbidity rates even in elderly patients. Improved outcome can be expected with increased volume and experience. This series should help establish a reference against which the results of endovascular endeavors and hybrid procedures could be compared.

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