Endovascular stent grafts are now accepted globally and approved by the US Food and Drug Administration as an alternative to open surgical repair for patients with descending thoracic aortic aneurysm. However, as opposed to the abdominal aorta, application of this technology to manage thoracic aortic disease is not limited to degenerative aneurysms. In fact, international registries and surveys estimate that only 60% of the thoracic cases managed currently with stent-graft placement are aneurysms. The remainder of this experience includes acute dissection, chronic dissection, traumatic aortic injury, penetrating ulcer, intramural hematoma, aortic fistula, anastomotic pseudoaneurysm, and an embolizing lesion. In this regard, it is important to keep in mind that the present devices used in these nonaneurysmal applications are not designed to address the unique anatomical and pathological features that these lesions present. Consequently, in the future, it is possible that we will see stent-graft designs that focus specifically on the challenges of some of the nonaneurysmal thoracic aortic pathologies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine