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Type 1a endoleak is one of the most severe complications after thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR), because it carries the risk of aortic rupture. The association between bird-beak configuration and Type 1a endoleak remains unclear. The purpose of this study was to analyse the predictors of Type 1a endoleak following Zone 1 and Zone 2 TEVAR, with a particular focus on the effect of bird-beak configuration.From April 2008 to July 2015, 105 patients (mean age 68.6 years) who underwent Zone 1 and 2 landing TEVAR were enrolled, with a mean follow-up period of 4.3 years. The patients were categorized into 2 groups, according to the presence (Group B, n = 32) or the absence (Group N, n = 73) of bird-beak configuration on the first postoperative multidetector computed tomography.The Kaplan-Meier event-free rate curve showed that Type 1a endoleak and bird-beak progression occurred less frequently in Group N than in Group B. Five-year freedom from Type 1a endoleak rates were 79.7% and 100% for Groups B and N, respectively (P= 0.007). Multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that dissecting aortic aneurysm (odds ratio 3.72, 95% confidence interval 1.30-11.0; P= 0.014) and shorter radius of inner curvature (odds ratio 1.09, 95% confidence interval 0.85-0.99; P= 0.025) were significant risk factors for bird-beak configuration. Multivariable Cox proportional hazard regression showed that Z-type stent graft (hazard ratio 2.69, 95% confidence interval 1.11-6.51; P= 0.030) was a significant risk factor for bird-beak progression.Appropriate stent grafts need to be chosen carefully to prevent Type 1a endoleak and bird-beak configuration after landing Zone 1 and 2 TEVAR. Patients with bird-beak configuration on early postoperative multidetector computed tomography require closer follow-up to screen for Type 1a endoleak.