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Research team documents benefits of endovascular stent repair for traumatic aortic injury
Date:4/30/2010

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) A UC Davis team of cardiovascular specialists has demonstrated the effectiveness of using stents -- as compared to traditional open-chest surgery -- to repair aortas that are torn as the result of accidents. The researchers will present their findings at the American Association for Thoracic Surgery Aortic Symposium 2010, which takes place April 29-30 in New York City.

"We are always looking for ways to reduce the impact of surgical treatment for patients, especially in instances where there can be multiple and potentially life-threatening injuries," said Royce Calhoun, a cardiothoracic surgeon and principal investigator of the research. "Our results show that it is possible to use stents to repair thoracic aortic tears due to trauma and improve results at the same time."

For the study, the team compared outcomes for 31 patients who received endovascular stent implantation with outcomes for 32 patients who received traditional open-chest surgery between June 2001 and October 2009. Those included in the study had sustained blunt-force injuries to their aortas as a result of wide range of traumas, including car or motorcycle crashes, falls or being crushed by heavy objects.

Stents are slender, small fabric sleeves that maintain their shape by means of an outer mesh. During the procedure, a stent is inserted into a blood vessel through a small incision -- typically in the groin -- then guided to the injury site, where it is triggered to expand against blood vessel walls and patch the injured area. In contrast, the standard surgical method requires long incisions down the length of the chest, sometimes extending into the abdomen. Ribs must be spread or removed, and patients usually must be connected to a heart-lung machine.

In general, stent procedures are associated with fewer complications and reduced recovery time than more-invasive surgical approaches. Patients in the UC Davis study who received stents,
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Contact: Karen Finney
karen.finney@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu
916-734-9064
University of California - Davis - Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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