Open surgical repair has been considered the mainstay of therapy for thoracic aortic aneurysms, both elective and emergency procedures alike. Recent advances in endovascular technology have made endovascular stentgraft placement a therapeutic modality that is minimally invasive and potentially a safer treatment for aneurysmal disease of the descending thoracic aorta. Moreover, this technology may be appropriate for other diseases of the thoracic aorta, including traumatic disruptions and dissections. There appears to be an increase in the diagnosis, and therefore incidence, of these various thoracic aortic pathologies, owing both to improvement in imaging capabilities and longer life expectancies. In distinction to endovascular repair of infrarenal aortic aneurysms, the evolution of thoracic stentgrafts has progressed more slowly as there has yet to exist a clinically proven device after 10 years of clinical trials. However, the enthusiasm for this technology persists, for it may indeed hold the potential for the greatest patient benefit as conventional open surgical repair continues to offer serious morbidity and mortality rates. This paper reviews the current status of thoracic aortic stentgrafts, including recent clinical studies, device failures and refinements, and future directions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine