Impact of Thoracic Endovascular Aortic Repair on Pulsatile Circumferential and Longitudinal Strain in Patients With Aneurysm

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Abstract

Purpose: To quantify both pulsatile longitudinal and circumferential aortic strains before and after thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR), potentially clarifying TEVAR-related complications. Methods: This retrospective study assessed the impact of TEVAR on pulsatile aortic strains through custom developed software and cardiac-gated computed tomography imaging of 8 thoracic aneurysm patients (mean age 71.0±8.2 years; 6 men) performed before TEVAR and during follow-up (median 0.1 months, interquartile range 0.1–5.8). Lengths of the ascending aorta, the aortic arch, and the descending aorta were measured. Diameters and areas were computed at the sinotubular junction, brachiocephalic trunk, left subclavian artery, and the celiac trunk. Pulsatile longitudinal and circumferential strains were quantified as systolic increments of length and circumference divided by the corresponding diastolic values. Results: Average pulsatile longitudinal strain ranged from 1.4% to 7.1%, was highest in the arch (p<0.001), and increased after TEVAR by 77% in the arch (7.1%±2.5% vs 12.5%±5.1%, p=0.04) and by 69% in the ascending aorta (5.6±2.3% vs 9.4±4.4%, p=0.06). Average pulsatile circumferential strain ranged from 3.6% to 5.0% before TEVAR and did not differ significantly throughout the thoracic aorta; there was a nonsignificant increase after TEVAR at the unstented sinotubular junction (5.0%±1.4% vs 6.3%±1.0%, p=0.18), with a significant increase at the celiac trunk (3.6%±1.8% vs 6.2%±1.8%, p=0.02). Pulsatile circumferential strains within stented segments were deemed unreliable due to image artifacts. Conclusion: TEVAR was associated with an increase of pulsatile longitudinal strains (in the arch) and circumferential strains (at the celiac trunk) in unstented aortic segments. These observations suggest increased pulsatile wall stress after TEVAR in segments adjacent to the device, which may contribute to the understanding of stent-graft–related complications such as retrograde dissection, aneurysm formation, and rupture.

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