Thoraco-abdominal aortic aneurysm branched repair

ELG Verhoeven, IFJ Tielliu, M Ferreira, B Zipfel, Donald Adam

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

16 Citations (Scopus)


Open thoraco-abdominal aortic aneurysm repair is a demanding procedure with high impact on the patient and the operating team. Results from expert centres show mortality rates between 3-21%, with extensive morbidity including renal failure and paraplegia. Endovascular repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms initially required an undilated portion of the aorta below the renal arteries to safely fixate the stent-graft. More complex abdominal artic aneurysms (i.e., short-necked, juxta- and suprarenal aneurysms) were later successfully treated with fenestrated grafts. The development of branched grafts opened the way to treat thoraco-abdominal aneurysms endovascularly. In this review, a comprehensive overview of technical aspects and results of the available literature is given. Mortality rates are below 10%, with spinal cord ischemia reported between 2.7% and 20%. Target vessel branch patency invariably has been reported between 95% and 100%, with first mid-term results demonstrating evidence for durability. Most series included high-risk patients, who were denied open repair. Nevertheless, risks associated with endovascular repair of thoraco-abdominal aneurysm should be acknowledged. Technique-specific complications including perforation of small vessels due to multiple catheterization resulting in retroperitoneal hematoma, and compartment syndorme of the lower limbs should be mentioned. Technical evolution of branched grafts is ongoing. Tapering down the main graft to allow for room for the branches has resulted in easier catheterization of target vessels and insertion of bridging stent-grafts. For the same reason, the branches for celiac artery and superior mesenteric artery are deliberately off-set in position. To stabilise the usually long devices, additional spiral wires have been added, to facilitate deployment in the correct orientation. Endovascular repair of thoraco-abdominal aneurysms will continue to evolve and gradually take over from open repair, in view of the much lower physical impact on the patient.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-155
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of cardiovascular surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2010


  • Aneurysm
  • Thoracic
  • Branched repair
  • Thoraco-abdominal
  • Endovascular


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