Endovascular treatment of descending thoracic aortic pathologies requires a preoperatively determined interventional strategy. Its feasibility depends mainly on anatomic factors: the morphology of the proximal and distal fixation sites, the diameter and disease state of the access vessels. These factors represent important predictors of success and the most important exclusion criteria.
Current diagnostic evaluation of aortic aneurysm for endovascular repair relies primarily on CT scan associated with 3Dreconstruction to assess the anatomical suitability for endograft implantation. In patients with an inadequate length of the proximal or distal neck, the left subclavian artery or the coeliac trunk can be overstented to effectively exclude thoracic aortic lesions. Deliberate coverage of aortic side branches should be decided prior to the procedure (guided by a extensive anatomical assessment) or carefully be avoided in order to reduce major morbidity, especially cerebral embolization, spinal cord ischemia and ischemic abdominal complications.