Endoluminal versus open treatment of descending thoracic aortic aneurysms

Sasan Najibi, Thomas T. Terramani, Victor J. Weiss, M. Julia Mac Donald, Peter H. Lin, Douglas C. Redd, Louis G. Martin, Elliot L. Chaikof, Alan B. Lumsden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Scopus citations


Purpose: This report describes the authors' initial experience with the Excluder thoracic endoprosthesis (W. L. Gore and Associates, Inc, Flagstaff, Ariz) and the thoracic Talent endoprosthesis (Medtronic AVE, Sunrise, Fla) and their safety and efficacy in the primary endovascular repair of descending thoracic aortic aneurysms (TAAs). In addition, comparison with a historic nonrandomized cohort of patients that had undergone open repair of descending TAAs is reported. Patients and methods: Repair of TAA (mean diameter, 68 ± 22 mm) was attempted in 19 patients with the Excluder (n = 14) and the Talent (n = 5) endoprostheses between March 1999 and January 2000. This group was compared with a historic nonrandomized cohort of 10 patients that had undergone open repair of anatomically similar descending TAA (mean diameter, 74 ± 22 mm) between January 1996 and January 1998. The mean age in the endovascular group was 70.6 ±5.3 years versus 70.1 ± 4.5 years in the historic open group. All the procedures were performed in a standard operating room with angiographic capabilities. In the historic open group, each standard tube graft repair of descending TAA was performed by one of three staff surgeons. Results: Endograft deployment was successful in 18 patients (95%). The procedure was aborted in one patient (Excluder) because of small iliac arteries and access difficulty. The average operative time was 155 ± 62 minutes, with a mean blood loss of 325 ± 353 mL (versus 256 ± 102 minutes and 1205 ± 1493 mL, respectively, in the open group). Eight patients needed the planned use of more than one component for enhanced sealing or additional length in the endovascular group. No type I endoleaks were identified on the intraoperative completion angiography. One perioperative mortality occurred in the endovascular group and the open group. In the endovascular group, other complications included retroperitoneal hematoma and external iliac artery dissection (n = 1), lymphocele (n = 1), and common femoral artery pseudoaneurysm (n = 1). In the open group, other complications included ischemic colitis (n = 1), severe renal insufficiency (n = 2), wound infection (n = 1), and stroke (n = 1). In the endovascular group, the length of stay was 6.2 ± 3.3 days (range, 1 to 13 days), with only nine patients needing intensive care, whereas in the open group, the length of stay was 16.3 ± 6.7 days, with all patients needing intensive care. Endoleaks, graft migrations, or ruptures were not seen on the 1-month, 6-month, and 12-month follow-up computed tomographic scans in the endovascular group. On the average, aneurysm size decreased from 68 ± 22 mm to 58 ± 13 mm, to 51 ± 14 mm, and to 49 ± 12 mm at 1, 6, and 12 months after endovascular repair, respectively. No spinal cord ischemia was seen in either group. Conclusion: The endoluminal repair was effective in exclusion of descending TAAs from the systemic circulation in this selected group of patients. In this short-term follow-up, compared with the nonrandomized historic cohort of open descending TAA repair, the endovascular group had significantly shorter operating times and hospital and intensive care unit stays and lower operative blood loss. Further follow-up and continued assessment of the long-term durability of these devices in elective and emergency circumstances are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)732-737
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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