Objectives: Repair of thoracic aneurysms (TA) involving the ascending, arch, and descending aorta results in substantial morbidity and mortality. This study evaluates outcomes with a two-stage elephant trunk (ET) technique. Methods: Two hundred and fifteen consecutive patients (pts) underwent total arch replacement using an ET (02/90-09/06). One hundred and thirty-nine pts (65%), group PC (planned completion; median age 68; 28-86 years), had extensive descending TA (Ø ≥ 5 cm) or dissections requiring complete repair. Seventy-six pts (35%), group CS (close surveillance; median age: 68; 20-87 years), had less severe distal dilatation (Ø ≤ 5 cm), and had close follow-up after ET rather than planned distal repair. Results: Hospital mortality in group PC pts (descending Ø: 6.2 ± 1.2 cm) was 6.5% (9/139) following ET. In group CS pts (descending Ø: 4.1 ± 0.7 cm), hospital mortality after ET was 5.3% (4/76); 4.7% (10/215) had strokes but survived. Eighty-six percent (112/130) of group PC pts who survived proximal repair returned for planned surgical (101) or endovascular (11) completion after a median of 56 (0-2189) days. Hospital mortality for distal repair was 7.5% (9/120); two ET stage two pts (2%) developed paraplegia. Eighty-nine percent (16/18; descending Ø: 6.9 ± 1.0 cm) of group PC pts who did not undergo planned completion died a median of 5.4 (1.2-91.1) months after ET stage one. Overall cumulative survival in group PC, which includes pts dying before or without stage two, was 69% after 1, and 55% after 5 years. Survival in group CS pts was 88% at 1, and 57% at 5 years. Eight pts in group CS subsequently underwent distal repair, but 22/76 (29%) group CS pts who survived ET stage one died during follow-up despite surveillance. Conclusions: The low mortality after stage one justifies liberal use of the ET technique to facilitate future open or endovascular TA repair of the distal aorta. The 5-year cumulative mortality curves, however, suggest that staged repair of extensive TA is superior to one-step repair only if stage two can be done before rupture occurs. If one-step repair is possible, it may be preferable.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine