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Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg. 2009 Jun;37(6):640-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ejvs.2009.03.011. Epub 2009 Apr 11.

Thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm repair: results of conventional open surgery.

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Department of Cardio-thoracic Surgery, St. Antonius Hospital, Nieuwegein, The Netherlands.



The aim of this study is to report our experience in the surgical repair of thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms (TAAAs) over the last 27 years against the background of evolving surgical techniques.


We reviewed the prospectively collected data of 571 patients who underwent open TAAA repair between 1981 and 2008. Data were analysed using univariate and multivariate analysis (logistic regression). Pre-, intra- and postoperative risk factors were used to develop risk models for in-hospital mortality, spinal cord deficit and renal failure. Recent published series were used to highlight the different treatment modalities and explore results.


Seventy patients (12.3%) died in the hospital, the 30-day mortality was 8.9%, 37 patients (6.5%) required postoperative dialysis and 47 patients (8.3%) developed paraplegia or paraparesis. The incidence of paraplegia in the left heart bypass group was 4.4%. The predictors for hospital mortality were increasing age (odds ratio 1.096 per year, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.05-1.14) and the need for haemodialysis (odds ratio 10, 95% CI: 4.7-21.1). For postoperative spinal cord deficit, we found three protecting factors: age above 75 years (odds ratio 0.14, 95% CI: 0.19-1.09), the presence of a post-dissection aneurysm (odds ratio 0.4, 95% CI: 0.17-0.94) and the combined use of cerebrospinal fluid drainage and motor-evoked potentials (odds ratio 0.28, 95% CI: 0.14-0.56). The urgency of procedure (odds ratio 4, 95% CI: 1.8-9) and preoperative serum creatinine level (odds ratio 1.007 per micromole per litre, 95% CI: 1.0-1.01) were significant risk factors for renal failure.


Open TAAA repair intrinsically has substantial complications, of which spinal cord ischaemia and renal failure are the most devastating, despite major progress in our understanding of the pathophysiology and operative strategy. An overview of the results of recently published series is given along with an analysis of our data.

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