What is the morbidity and mortality of TEVAR for ruptured thoracic aortic aneurysms?

One discussion this week included the morbidity and mortality of TEVAR in the setting of ruptured thoracic aortic aneurysms.

Reference: Geisbusch, P, et al. Endovascular repair of ruptured thoracic aortic aneurysms is associated with high perioperative mortality and morbidity. Journal of Vascular Surgery. 2010 Feb;51(2):299-304. doi:10.1016/j.jvs.2009.08.049.

Summary: In a retrospective study, Geisbusch et al (2010) analyzed the outcomes of emergency endovascular treatment of thoracic aortic pathologies (TEVAR). Out of 236 patients, 23 received thoracic aortic repair due to a ruptured thoracic aortic aneurysm (rTAA). The overall hospital mortality was 48% (see table below, p.302). Overall technical success was 87%. Three patients showed relevant primary endoleaks, and thus were not considered technical successes.


The causes of death in the 11 patients were: cardiac complications (7), multiorgan failure (3), and pulmonary embolism (1) (p.301).

The authors admit: “Mortality rates after TEVAR for acute descending aortic rupture vary between 0% and 17% in the few available series, which seems relatively low compared with our in-hospital mortality rate of 48%” (p.303).

The patient population in this study had a median age of 75 years, and was highly comorbid (83% with coronary heart disease, 43% with renal insufficiency, and 30% with COPD), resulting in high cardio-pulmonary and renal complications with consecutive perioperative death. Three-year survival is estimated at 30%.

In conclusion, “the endovascular treatment of ruptured thoracic aortic aneurysms is associated with a high perioperative mortality and morbidity as well as poor midterm survival. Renal insufficiency proved as an independent risk factor for perioperative death” (p.303).

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