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      Aortic arch reconstruction by transluminally placed endovascular branched stent graft.


      Transplants, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Aorta, surgery, transplantation, Aortic Aneurysm, Bioprosthesis, Female, Graft Survival, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Stents

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          Recently, thoracic aortic stent grafting has emerged as an alternative therapeutic modality for patients with thoracic aortic aneurysms and aortic dissections. However, its application has been limited to descending thoracic aortic aneurysms distal to the aortic arch. We report our initial clinical experience of endovascular branched stent graft repair for aortic arch aneurysms. Endovascular grafting with Inoue branched stent grafts was attempted for 15 patients with thoracic aortic aneurysms and aortic dissections under local anesthesia (n=14) or general anesthesia (n=1). Single-branched stent grafts were used in 14 patients, and a triple-branched stent graft in one. The branched stent grafts were delivered through a 22F or a 24F sheath under fluoroscopic guidance and implanted across the aneurysmal aortic arch. In 2 patients, the single-branched stent graft did not pass through the 22F sheath used. Complete thrombosis of the aneurysm was ultimately achieved in 11 patients (73%). Of 4 persistent leaks, 1 minor leak spontaneously thrombosed and 1 major leak was successfully treated by additional straight stent graft placement. In 1 patient, the right external iliac artery ruptured during the withdrawal of the sheath and was successfully repaired by the implantation of a straight stent graft. One patient with severe stenosis of the aortic graft section was successfully managed by additional stent deployment. Peripheral microembolization to a toe occurred in 1 patient, and cerebral infarction occurred in 1 other patient. Two patients who had failed to receive endovascular stent grafts died during an average follow-up of 12.6 months, 1 of pneumonia and the other of rupture of a concomitant abdominal aortic aneurysm. This report demonstrates the technical feasibility of endovascular branched stent graft repair for aneurysms located at the aortic arch. Careful, longer follow-up and further extensive clinical trials are awaited toward establishing this technique as a recommendable alternative to surgical treatment of thoracic aortic aneurysms.

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