Early and midterm results after endovascular stent graft repair of penetrating aortic ulcers

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To present early and midterm results after endovascular stent graft repair of patients with penetrating aortic ulcers (PAU).


Between January 1997 and March 2008, a total of 202 patients received thoracic aortic endografting in our institution, 48 patients (32 men, median age 70 years, range, 48-89) with PAU. A retrospective analysis of these patients was performed. Thirty-one patients (65%) showed an acute aortic syndrome (8 contained rupture, 23 symptomatic). Follow-up scheme included postoperative computed tomography angiography prior to discharge, at 3, 6, and 12 months, and yearly thereafter. Mean follow-up was 31.3 months (1.3-112.6).


Technical success was achieved in 93.7%. Primary clinical success rate was 81.2%. In-hospital mortality was 14.6%. Perioperative mortality was significantly (P= .036) higher in patients with acute aortic syndrome compared to asymptomatic patients (22.5% vs 0%). Postoperative complications occurred in 15 patients (31%), including 2 patients with minor strokes and 6, respectively, 5 patients with cardiac and/or respiratory complications. Early endoleaks were observed in 9 patients (19%), late endoleaks in another 2 patients. Reintervention was necessary in 4 out of 48 patients (8.4%). The actuarial survival estimates at 1, 3, and 5 years were 78% ± 6%, 74% ± 7%, and 61% ± 10%, respectively. There was no aortic-related death during follow-up. Cox regression showed age (hazard ratio [HR]; 1.08,P= .036) and a maximum aortic diameter >50 mm (HR, 4.92;P= .021) as independent predictors of death.


Endovascular treatment of penetrating aortic ulcers is associated with a relevant morbidity and mortality rate in frequently highly comorbid patients. Midterm results could prove a sustained treatment success regarding actuarial survival and aortic-related death. Emergencies show a significantly worse outcome, but treatment is still warranted in these symptomatic patients.

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