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PLoS One. 2017 Oct 5;12(10):e0186080. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0186080. eCollection 2017.

Changes in aortic pulse wave velocity of four thoracic aortic stent grafts in an ex vivo porcine model.

Author information

Thoracic Aortic Research Center, Policlinico San Donato IRCCS, University of Milan, San Donato Milanese, Italy.
Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy.
Institute of Applied Mathematics and Information Technologies (IMATI), National Research Council of Italy (CNR), Milan, Italy.
Department of Vascular Surgery, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands.



Thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) has been shown to lead to increased aortic stiffness. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of stent graft type and stent graft length on aortic stiffness in a controlled, experimental setting.


Twenty porcine thoracic aortas were connected to a pulsatile mock loop system. Intraluminal pressure was recorded at two sites in order to measure pulse wave velocity (PWV) for each aorta: before stent graft deployment (t1); after deployment of a 100-mm long stent graft (t2); and after distal extension through deployment of a second 100-mm long stent graft (t3). Four different types of stent grafts (Conformable Gore® TAG® Device, Bolton Relay® Device, Cook Zenith Alpha™, and Medtronic Valiant®) were evaluated.


For the total cohort of 20 aortas, PWV increased by a mean 0.6 m/s or 8.9% of baseline PWV after deployment of a 100-mm proximal stent graft (P<0.001), and by a mean 1.4 m/s or 23.0% of baseline PWV after distal extension of the stent graft (P<0.001). Univariable regression analysis showed a significant correlation between aortic PWV and extent of stent graft coverage, (P<0.001), but no significant effect of baseline aortic length, baseline aortic PWV, or stent graft type on the percentual increase in PWV at t2 or at t3.


In this experimental set-up, aortic stiffness increased significantly after stent graft deployment with each of the four types of stent graft, with the increase in aortic stiffness depending on the extent of stent graft coverage.

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