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J Vasc Surg. 2011 Jul;54(1):258-67. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2011.05.024.

Debate regarding the best surgical option for type IV thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms.

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Regional Vascular Unit, St Mary's Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, United Kingdom.


Conventional open surgical repair, endovascular treatment, and the hybrid technique constitute the three treatment options for patients with type IV thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms (TAAAs). Treatment is advocated to prevent rupture but yields significant risk for spinal cord ischemia, cardiovascular, and renal and respiratory complications, including death. Refinements in open surgical techniques and branched endovascular graft repair together with the development of hybrid techniques have been applied to the treatment of type IV-TAAAs to decrease the risk of these complications. However, much of the evidence of the argument is circumstantial. Large experiences are limited to a few centers worldwide with inherent disparity between patient groups and several limitations to the construction of a prospective randomized trial. This controversial subject is now open to discussion, and our debaters have been given the challenge to clarify the evidence to justify their preferred option for repair of type IV-TAAAs.

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