Short-term results of left subclavian artery salvage in blunt thoracic aortic injury with short proximal landing zones

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Abstract

Objective:

Thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) is the standard treatment of blunt thoracic aortic injury (BTAI). The concept of seal was derived from the treatment of aneurysms and has been adopted for BTAI. Given the location of injury in BTAI, left subclavian artery (LSA) coverage is sometimes necessary. In these often healthier aortas, a shorter proximal landing zone may be acceptable and beneficial in avoiding some complications. Current practice patterns vary, and long-term effects of LSA coverage remain unknown.

Methods:

A single-institution experience with BTAI for TEVAR was examined from 2006 to 2017. The primary outcome was failure of sealing, endoleak, or persistent aortic injury on follow-up imaging. A centerline was used to measure the length of the landing zone, aortic diameter, and other parameters. Post-TEVAR computed tomography scans were examined for evidence of residual aortic injury.

Results:

A total of 30 TEVARs were performed for BTAI. The mean age of the patients was 38.7 years (standard deviation [SD], 19.8 years), and 70% were male. The mean injury severity score was 36.75 (SD, 13.1). Treated patients had grade 2 (36.7%) or grade 3 (63.3%) BTAI. The LSA was salvaged in 23 cases and covered in seven cases. The mean landing zone in LSA uncovered cases was 16 mm (SD, 10.4 mm). There were 15 patients (65%) who had a landing zone <20 mm, and eight (35%) patients had a landing zone >20 mm. The mean landing zone in the seven covered cases was 1.8 mm (SD, 2.4 mm). Procedural success was 96% for the uncovered group and 100% for the covered group. On follow-up imaging, there was only one residual endoleak in all surviving patients (n = 25). Five patients did not have postoperative imaging, two (7%) of whom died of nonaorta-related issues.

Conclusions:

TEVAR for BTAI in patients with short proximal landing zones of 10 to 20 mm as well as in select patients with landing zones of 5 to 10 mm appears to be safe and efficacious. The aorta demonstrates no residual injury after TEVAR, with the graft acting potentially more as a bridge to allow healing. Long-term issues regarding LSA coverage have been difficult to ascertain and to evaluate because of historically poor follow-up in this population of patients. However, potential issues with LSA coverage and revascularization may be avoided by preserving the subclavian artery even with shorter proximal landing zones.

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