Early experience with off-the-shelf endografts using a zone 0 proximal landing site to treat the ascending aorta and arch

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Acute type A aortic syndromes and its chronic complications are fatal diseases traditionally treated by open surgery, with high mortality rates. An endovascular approach to the ascending aorta could reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with open surgery. Our aim was to report our initial experience in treating ascending aortic pathology using commercially available descending thoracic endografts.


From 2007 to 2012, 69 patients presented to our center in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, with acute type A aortic syndrome or its chronic complications. Of the 69 patients, 8 high-risk patients had suitable anatomy, and 7 agreed to participate in the present study.


Of the 7 patients, 4 had penetrating ulcers, 2 had acute dissections, and 1 had chronic dissection with an aneurysm. The technical success rate was 87%, with 1 intraoperative death from acute aortic valve insufficiency. The proximal landing zone was, on average, 21 mm above the aortic valve in all patients. Three patients required intraoperative cervical debranching due to a lesion in the distal third of the ascending aorta, compromising the supra-aortic branches. The distal landing zone was at zone 0 in 4 patients, zone 2 in 1 patient, and in zone 4 in 2 patients. The mean follow-up was 26.3 months. Two repeat dissections developed an average of 2 months after treatment. Both presented with acute dissection that was treated with additional open surgery and both patients survived. Thereafter, no patient had presented again with an acute aortic syndrome or other referable symptoms.


Endovascular treatment of the ascending aorta is feasible. We had 4 good mid-term results in 7 patients who had presented with penetrating ulcers or aneurysm formation. Acute dissections seem to be more unstable, and additional research is mandatory.

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