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J Vasc Surg. 2010 Apr;51(4):1026-32, 1032.e1-1032.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2009.10.103.

Meta-analysis of open versus endovascular repair for ruptured descending thoracic aortic aneurysm.

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Department of Surgery and Radiology, Sections of Vascular Surgery and Interventional Radiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn 06510, USA.



Ruptured descending thoracic aortic aneurysm (rDTAA) is associated with high mortality rates. Data supporting endovascular thoracic aortic aneurysm repair (TEVAR) to reduce mortality compared with open repair are limited to small series. We investigated published reports for contemporary outcomes of open and endovascular repair of rDTAA.


We systematically reviewed all studies describing the outcomes of rDTAA treated with open repair or TEVAR since 1995 using MEDLINE, Cochrane Library CENTRAL, and Excerpta Medica Database (EMBASE) databases. Case reports or studies published before 1995 were excluded. All articles were critically appraised for relevance, validity, and availability of data regarding treatment outcomes. All data were systematically pooled, and meta-analyses were performed to investigate 30-day mortality, myocardial infarction, stroke, and paraplegia rates after both types of repair.


Original data of 224 patients (70% male) with rDTAA were identified: 143 (64%) were treated with TEVAR and 81 (36%) with open repair. Mean age was 70 +/- 5.6 years. The 30-day mortality was 19% for patients treated with TEVAR for rDTAA compared 33% for patients treated with open repair, which was significant (odds ratio [OR], 2.15, P = .016). The 30-day occurrence rates of myocardial infarction (11.1% vs 3.5%; OR, 3.70, P < .05), stroke (10.2% vs 4.1%; OR, 2.67; P = .117), and paraplegia (5.5% vs 3.1%; OR, 1.83; P = .405) were increased after open repair vs TEVAR, but this failed to reach statistical significance for stroke and paraplegia. Five additional patients in the TEVAR group died of aneurysm-related causes after 30 days, during a median follow-up of 17 +/- 10 months. Follow-up data after open repair were insufficient. The estimated aneurysm-related survival at 3 years after TEVAR was 70.6%.


Endovascular repair of rDTAA is associated with a significantly lower 30-day mortality rate compared with open surgical repair. TEVAR was associated with a considerable number of aneurysm-related deaths during follow-up.

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