The endovascular management of visceral artery aneurysms and pseudoaneurysms

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Visceral artery aneurysms may be treated by aneurysm exclusion, excision, revascularization, and endovascular techniques. The purpose of this study was to review the outcomes of the management of visceral artery aneurysms with catheter-based techniques.


Between 1997 and 2005, 90 patients were identified with a diagnosis of visceral artery aneurysm. This was inclusive of aneurysmal disease of the celiac axis, superior mesenteric artery (SMA), inferior mesenteric artery, and their branches. Surveillance without intervention occurred in 23 patients, and 19 patients underwent open aneurysm repair (4 ruptures). The endovascular treatment of 48 consecutive patients (mean age 58, 60% men) with 20 visceral artery aneurysms (VAA) and 28 visceral artery pseudoaneurysms (VAPA) was the basis for this study. Electronic and hardcopy medical records were reviewed for demographic data and clinical variables. Original computed tomography (CT) scans and fluoroscopic imaging were evaluated.


The endovascular treatment of visceral artery aneurysms was technically successful in 98% of 48 procedures, consisting of 3 celiac axis repairs, 2 left gastric arteries, 1 SMA, 12 hepatic arteries, 20 splenic arteries, 7 gastroduodenal arteries, 1 middle colic artery, and 2 pancreaticoduodenal arteries. Of these, 29 (60%) were performed for symptomatic disease (5 ruptured aneurysms). Procedures were performed in the endovascular suite under local anesthesia with conscious sedation (94%). The femoral artery was used as the preferential access site (90%). Coil embolization was used for aneurysm exclusion in 96%.N-butyl-2-cyanoacrylate (glue) was used selectively (19%) using a triaxial system with a 3F microcatheter for persistent flow or multiple branches. The 30-day mortality was 8.3% (n = 4). One patient died from recurrent gastrointestinal bleeding after gastroduodenal embolization, and the remaining died of unrelated causes. All perioperative deaths occurred in patients requiring urgent or emergent intervention in the setting of hemodynamic instability. No patients undergoing elective intervention died in the periprocedural period. Postprocedural imaging was performed after 77% of interventions at a mean of 16 months. Complete exclusion of flow within the aneurysm sac occurred in 97% interventions with follow-up imaging, but coil and glue artifact complicated CT evaluation. Postembolization syndrome developed in three patients (6%) after splenic artery embolization. There was no evidence of hepatic insufficiency or bowel ischemia after either hepatic or mesenteric artery aneurysm treatment. Three patients required secondary interventions for persistent flow (n = 1) and recurrent bleeding from previously embolized aneurysms (n = 2).


Visceral artery aneurysms and pseudoaneurysms can be successfully treated with endovascular means with low periprocedural morbidity; however, the urgent repair of these lesions is still associated with elevated mortality rates. Aneurysm exclusion can be accomplished with coil embolization and the selective use ofN-butyl-2-cyanoacrylate. Current catheter-based techniques extend our ability to exclude visceral artery aneurysms, but imaging artifact hampers postoperative CT surveillance.

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