Early outcomes after elective and emergent endovascular repair of the thoracic aorta
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BACKGROUND: Endovascular treatment of thoracic aortic pathology has emerged as a viable alternative to open surgical repair in both the elective and emergent settings. The aim of this study was to evaluate preoperative work-up, intra-operative strategy, and outcomes of endovascular stent-grafting of the thoracic aorta in patients undergoing elective repair and those undergoing emergent repair. METHODS: All patient information was obtained by a retrospective review of an established clinical database for all endovascular thoracic stent-graft cases. From October 1999 to August 2005, 70 patients were treated with endovascular stent-grafts for lesions of the thoracic aorta. Thirty-five patients had an elective endovascular procedure, and 35 patients had an emergent procedure. RESULTS: Thirty-five patients in the endovascular (EL) group were treated for aneurysm (n = 34) and type B dissection (n = 1). Thirty-five patients in the emergent (EM) group were treated for aneurysm (n = 10), intramural hematoma (n = 10), type B dissection (n = 7), traumatic rupture (n = 7), and aortoesophageal fistula (n = 1). Preoperative angiography was performed in 94.3% (33/35) of EL patients but in only 45.7% (16/35) EM patients (P < .005). The EM procedures had significantly shorter operative times, used lower contrast volumes, used fewer stent-graft components (mode 2, range 1 to 5 vs mode 1, range 1 to 3; P = .02), and spinal cerebrospinal fluid drains were used significantly less often (82.9% vs 57.1%, P = .04). Both groups had similar 30-day morbidity, mortality (0/35 EL vs 1/35 [2.9%] EM, P = .99), postoperative endoleak (9/35 [25.7%] EL vs 7/35 [20.0%] EM, P = .78), endovascular failure (3/35 [8.6%] EL vs 5/35 [14.3%] EM, P = .71), and patient survival. CONCLUSION: There are significant differences in the underlying pathology, preoperative evaluation, and operative course between elective and emergency treatment endovascular procedures for lesions of the thoracic aorta. Endovascular repair of thoracic aortic lesions can be accomplished with low perioperative mortality and morbidity rates, as well as acceptable endoleak and endovascular failure rates for both elective and emergency procedures.
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