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Stent grafts: a better way to treat blunt trauma injuries
Date:8/5/2008

FAIRFAX, Va.Endovascular repairfixing an injury in a blood vessel from inside that vesselis a better option for individuals who receive highly lethal injuries from high-speed collisions or falls (together referred to as blunt trauma) and is shown to save more lives and nearly eliminate paraplegia (the loss of the ability to move and/or feel both legs), a complication of surgical repair for thoracic aortic aneurysms.

"Analysis of the available data provides unequivocal support for endovascular repair to replace open surgery as the procedure of choice for repair of the most common traumatic aortic injury," said Eric K. Hoffer, the director of vascular and interventional radiology at Dartmouth Medical School. "This minimally invasive interventional radiology technique can decrease the death rate by half and diminish the risk of paraplegia by 75 percent as compared to open surgical repair," he added.

Injuries causing thoracic (chest) aortic trauma are life-threatening, often resulting in significant disability or death. Injuries to the body's largest artery account for as much as 25 percent of all motor vehicle trauma-related deaths, and most of these individuals die at the scene of the injury, said Hoffer. The 10?? percent who survive and make it to the hospital may die within hours of hospitalization. These injuries may cause partial tears of the artery wall and may not be obvious initially. If left untreated, the artery could expand and eventually rupture, resulting in massive bleeding into the chest that is invariably fatal, said Hoffer.

During surgery, a patient is at increased risk of paraplegia because the thoracic aorta is clamped, cutting off blood to the spinal column. The interventional radiology treatment does not interrupt the blood supply. By entering a branch of the aorta through a small incision in the groin and using long, thin tubes called catheters, interventional radiologists guide and deliver a stent graft (a tube c
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Contact: Maryann Verrillo
mverrillo@SIRweb.org
703-460-5572
Society of Interventional Radiology
Source:Eurekalert

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