PURPOSE: To describe the combined use of a tubular stent-graft for the ascending aorta and an inner-branched arch stent-graft for patients with acute type A aortic dissection.
TECHNIQUE: The technique to deploy these modular, custom-made stent-grafts is demonstrated in 2 patients with acute DeBakey type I aortic dissections and significant comorbidities precluding open surgery. Both emergent procedures were made possible by the availability of suitable devices manufactured for elective repair in other patients. After preliminary carotid-subclavian bypass, a long Lunderquist guidewire was introduced from the right femoral artery to the left ventricle for delivery of the Zenith Ascend and Zenith Branched Arch Endovascular Grafts under inflow occlusion. Bridging stent-grafts were delivered to the innominate and left common carotid arteries to connect to the 2 inner branches; the left subclavian artery was occluded. Both cases were technically successful and resulted in exclusion of the false lumen in the ascending aorta. The operating and fluoroscopy times did not exceed those of comparable elective procedures. The patients were rapidly extubated shortly after the procedure and without serious immediate complications. One patient survived 11 months with a satisfactory repair; the other succumbed to complications of recurrent pneumonia after 23 days.
CONCLUSION: Endovascular treatment of patients with acute type A aortic dissection using a combination of tubular and branched stent-grafts in the ascending aorta is feasible and offers an alternative strategy to open surgery.