Background To analyze utilization of a perfusion branch for temporary sac perfusion to reduce the spinal cord ischemia (SCI) in the endovascular repair of thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms (TAAAs).
Methods Between January 2012 and August 2016, 30 patients (18, men; median age 72 years) were treated for TAAAs with total endovascular repair using customized branched/fenestrated endografts in our institution. The median aneurysm size was 6.6 cm. Types of TAAA were: type I, 9 (30%), type II, 5 (16.6%), type III, 4 (13.3%), type IV, 6 (20%), and type V, 6 (20%). Ten patients received a perfusion branch to create an intentional endoleak, which was occluded with vascular plugs in mean interval time of 8.2 weeks (range: 6-10). Staged procedure and automated cerebrospinal fluid drainage were used in 23 (77%) and 24 (80%) patients, respectively.
Results The technical success was 97%; 107 renovisceral target vessels were revascularized (32 fenestrations, 75 branches). At the time of the planned reinterventions, the mean arterial pressure (MAP) gradients were measured between the temporarily perfused aneurysm sac and the aortic endografts, and they were significantly higher (mean gradients 42.5 ± 10 mm Hg; range: 30-60) within the aortic grafts. The in-hospital and 30-day mortality was 3.3%. The incidence of postoperative SCI was 3/20 (15%) in the standard group and 0% in the group of the perfusion branch (p = 0.28). The mean follow-up was 12 months (range: 2-51).
Conclusion We experience that the use of a dedicated perfusion branch is feasible and may serve as protective adjunct to reduce the risk of SCI in endovascular treatment of TAAA. The risk of rupture in interval appears to be low. Larger series and multicenter studies are warranted to corroborate these results.