A nationwide study of treatment modalities for thoracic aortic injury

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Background:Thoracic aortic injuries have traditionally been associated with high morbidity and mortality. Thoracic endovascular aortic repair has emerged as a suitable alternative to open repair, but its impact at a national level remains ill defined. This study aimed to analyze the national trends of patient characteristics, outcomes, and resource utilization in the treatment of thoracic aortic injuries.Methods:Patients admitted with thoracic aortic injuries from 2005–2014 were identified in the National Inpatient Sample. Patients were identified as undergoing thoracic endovascular aortic repair, open surgery, or nonoperative management. The primary outcome was in-hospital mortality, while secondary outcomes included complications and costs. Multivariate regressions accounting for characteristics of the patients and injury characteristics were used to determine predictors of mortality and changes in cost.Results:Of the 11,257 patients admitted for thoracic aortic injuries, 33% received thoracic endovascular aortic repair, 8% open surgery, and 59% nonoperative management. Thoracic endovascular aortic repair had the great largest growth in case volume (P < .001). Compared to open surgery, thoracic endovascular aortic repair patients had greater rates of concomitant brain (17 vs 26%, P=.01), pulmonary (21 vs 33%, P < .001), and splenic injuries (2 vs 4%, P=.031). In-hospital mortality was greater for open surgery (odds ratio = 3.06, P=.003) and nonoperative management (odds ratio=4.33, P < .001) than thoracic endovascular aortic repair. Over time, mortality rates for thoracic endovascular aortic repair decreased (P=.002), but increased for open surgery (P=.04). Interestingly, total costs with thoracic endovascular aortic repair increased (P=.004), while they decreased for open surgery (P=.031).Conclusion:Our findings indicate the rapid adoption of thoracic endovascular aortic repair over open surgery for management of thoracic aortic injuries. Thoracic endovascular aortic repair is associated with lower mortality rates, but it has greater costs not otherwise explained by other patient factors.

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