Blunt thoracic aortic injury and TEVAR: long-term outcomes and health-related quality of life

Dennis Hundersmarck*, Quirine M.J. van der Vliet, Lotte M. Winterink, Luke P.H. Leenen, Joost A. van Herwaarden, Constantijn E.V.B. Hazenberg, Falco Hietbrink

*Corresponding author for this work

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PURPOSE: Treatment of blunt thoracic aortic injuries (BTAIs) has shifted from the open surgical approach to the use of thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR), of which early outcomes appear promising but controversy regarding long-term outcomes remains. The goal of this study was to determine the long-term TEVAR outcomes for BTAI, particularly radiographic outcomes, complications and health-related quality of life (HRQoL).

METHODS: Retrospectively, all patients with BTAIs presented at a single level 1 trauma center between January 2008 and December 2018 were included. Radiographic and clinical outcomes were determined (early and long term). In addition, HRQoL scores using EuroQOL-5-Dimensions-3-Level (EQ-5D-3L) and Visual Analog Scale (EQ-VAS) questionnaires were assessed, and compared to an age-adjusted reference and trauma population.

RESULTS: Thirty-one BTAI patients met the inclusion criteria. Of these, 19/31 received TEVAR of which three died in hospital due to aorta-unrelated causes. In total, 10/31 patients died due to severe (associated) injuries before TEVAR could be attempted. The remaining 2/31 had BTAIs that did not require TEVAR. Stent graft implantation was successful in all 19 patients (100%). At a median radiographic follow-up of 3 years, no stent graft-related problems (endoleaks/fractures) were observed. However, one patient experienced acute stent graft occlusion approximately 2 years after TEVAR, successfully treated with open repair. Twelve patients required complete stent graft coverage of the left subclavian artery (LSCA) (63%), which did not result in ischemic complaints or re-interventions. Of fourteen surviving TEVAR patients, ten were available for questionnaire follow-up (follow-up rate 71%). At a median follow-up of 5.7 years, significant HRQoL impairment was found (p < 0.01).

CONCLUSION: This study shows good long(er)-term radiographic outcomes of TEVAR for BTAIs. LSCA coverage did not result in complications. Patients experienced HRQoL impairment and were unable to return to an age-adjusted level of daily-life functioning, presumably due to concomitant orthopedic and neurological injuries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1961-1973
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal of Trauma and Emergency Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


  • Blunt thoracic aortic injury
  • Blunt traumatic aortic injury
  • Left subclavian artery
  • Thoracic endovascular aortic repair


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