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Endovascular treatment of thoracic aortic aneurysms: a review

  • Vascular–Interventional
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Open surgical repair is considered the traditional treatment for patients with thoracic aortic aneurysms (TAA). In view of the persistent perioperative mobidity and mortality, endovascular stent-graft placement as a minimally invasive and potentially safer treatment for aneurysm of the descending aorta was introduced in 1992. Since then, progress has been made and several institutions have substantiated the safety and effectiveness of stent grafts in the repair of descending TAAs or type-B aortic dissections. Currently, both custom-designed, home-made, and commercially available stent grafts are used. Prior to placement of the endoprosthesis, three major prerequisites must be considered: the localization and morphology of the aneurysm; the distal vascular access of sufficient size; and a limited tortuosity of the abdominal and thoracic aorta. Although short-term results are encouraging, severe complications, including paraplegia, cerebral strokes, and aortic rupture, have been encountered. The long-term durability of currently available stent-graft systems is nonexistent and material fatigue are of major concern to both surgeons and radiologists. Nevertheless, endovascular stent-graft placement could become the procedure of choice in a substantial number of patients with descending TAA.

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Thurnher, S.A., Grabenwöger, M. Endovascular treatment of thoracic aortic aneurysms: a review. Eur Radiol 12, 1370–1387 (2002).

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