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

as compared to those who received open-chest surgery, were in the operating room for less than half the time and needed significantly fewer blood transfusions. The group who received stents also experienced less kidney failure and had a lower death rate.

While traditional open-chest surgical methods remain appropriate in certain circumstances -- for example, when multiple branches of the aorta are injured in addition to the aorta -- Calhoun said the study shows promise for the endovascular technique becoming the preferred approach for treating aortic tears. Moreover, while stents can be a temporary treatment until a patient's condition allows a more definitive procedure, follow-up care of the study participants has shown no evidence of stent-related problems or issues for those who were still growing physically.

"Patients in the study are doing really well," said Calhoun, who in 2006 helped launch the UC Davis thoracic endovascular aortic repair program, which combines the institution's extensive expertise in vascular medicine, surgery, cardiology and trauma care. "We're very optimistic -- even if stents prove in the long-run to be most appropriate only as a temporary fix for aortic tears -- that this procedure can save lives."

The stents used in the UC Davis study are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for repairing aneurysms. Their application in trauma repair, however, is currently considered off-label usage. Calhoun and his colleagues are preparing to participate with other select institutions in a large clinical trial evaluating the efficacy of new stent devices designed specifically for repairing thoracic aorta damage. The manufacturer will apply that data to seek broader FDA approval of the devices.


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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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