Publications by authors named "Felice Pecoraro"

65 Publications

Position Paper on Young Vascular Surgeons Training of the Mediterranean Federation for the Advancing of Vascular Surgery (MeFAVS): State of the Art and Perspectives.

Ann Vasc Surg 2021 Aug 25. Epub 2021 Aug 25.

Vascular Surgery Division, Thorax Institute, Hospital Clinic, Barcelona, Spain.

The Mediterranean Federation for the Advancing of Vascular Surgery (MeFAVS) was founded in 2018, with the aim to promote cooperation among vascular professionals within Mediterranean countries. Due to its prominent social and economic impact on national health systems, diabetic peripheral artery was selected as the very first topic to be investigated by the federation. In this second paper, different experiences from delegates of participating countries were shared to define common strategies to harmonize, standardize, and optimize education and training in the Vascular Surgery specialty.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.avsg.2021.08.002DOI Listing
August 2021

Simultaneous Hybrid Treatment of Multilevel Peripheral Arterial Disease in Patients with Chronic Limb-Threatening Ischemia.

J Clin Med 2021 Jun 28;10(13). Epub 2021 Jun 28.

Department of Surgical, Oncological and Oral Sciences, University of Palermo, 90127 Palermo, Italy.

Background: Hybrid treatments (HT) aim to reduce conventional open surgery invasiveness and address multilevel peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Herein, the simultaneous HT treatment in patients with chronic limb-threatening ischemia (CLTI) is reported.

Methods: Retrospective analysis, for the period from May 2012 to April 2018, of patients presenting multilevel PAD with CLTI addressed with simultaneous HT. The outcomes of these interventions were measured the following metrics: early technical successes (within 30 days following treatment) and late technical successes (30 days or more following treatment) and included mortality, morbidity symptoms recurrence, and amputation. Survival and patencies were estimated. The median follow-up was 43.77 months.

Results: In the 45 included patients, the HT consisted of femoral bifurcation patch angioplasty followed by an endovascular treatment in 38 patients (84.4%) and endovascular treatment followed by a surgical bypass in 7 patients (15.6%). Technical success was 100% without perioperative mortality. Eight (17.8%) patients presented early complications without major amputations. During the follow-up, seven (15.6%) deaths occurred and six patients (13.3%) experienced symptoms recurrence, with five of those patients requiring major amputation. An estimated survival time of 5 years, primary patency, and secondary patency was 84.4%, 79.2%, and 83.3% respectively.

Conclusions: Hybrid treatments are effective in addressing patients presenting with multilevel PAD and CLTI. The common femoral artery involvement influences strategy selection. Larger studies with longer-term outcomes are required to validate the hybrid approach, indications, and results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm10132865DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8268200PMC
June 2021

Efficacy and one-year outcomes of Luminor® paclitaxel-coated drug-eluting balloon in the treatment of popliteal artery atherosclerosis lesions.

Ann Vasc Surg 2021 May 2. Epub 2021 May 2.

Department of Surgical Oncological and Oral Sciences, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy; Vascular Surgery Unit, AOUP "P. Giaccone", Palermo, Italy.

Purpose: Reporting outcomes with a new generation paclitaxel eluting balloon (Luminor®; iVascular, Vascular, S.L.U., Barcelona, Spain) in the popliteal district. Endovascular treatment of popliteal artery atherosclerotic disease is still debated without definitive evidences.

Methods: From January to June 2019, patients' data presenting popliteal artery atherosclerotic diseases and treated with the Luminor® (iVascular) drug eluting balloon (DEB) were prospectively collected. Critical limb ischemia (CLI) or severe claudication associated with popliteal artery stenosis >50% were the inclusion criteria. Measured outcomes were technical success, early and late results; including mortality, morbidity, symptoms recurrence, amputation, ankle-brachial index (ABI), survival, primary patency, secondary patency, freedom from restenosis. Median follow-up was 22.43 ± 4 (mean:21.58; IQR:20-24) months.

Results: Of the 33 included patients, 28 (85%) were diagnosed with CLI, with a mean preoperative run-off score of 5.39 (r:0-10; SD:3) and a chronic popliteal occlusion in 21 (64%). Technical success was achieved in all cases. Perioperative mortality was observed in 1 (3%) patient and perioperative complications in 2 (6%). During the follow-up were reported 2 symptoms recurrence; a significant ABI increase (0.57; IQR:0.41-0.47 vs. 0.69; IQR:0.50-0.67; P < 0.01); 1 (3%) major and 2 (6%) minor amputations. Estimated 24 months survival, primary patency, secondary patency, and freedom from restenosis were 97%, 96.9%, 100%, and 93.8% respectively.

Conclusions: In this prospective study, the use of the Luminor® (iVascular) was safe and effective in addressing atherosclerotic popliteal artery lesions. Larger studies with longer term-outcomes are required to assess the durability of this device in the popliteal artery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.avsg.2021.04.015DOI Listing
May 2021

NEXUS Arch: A Multicenter Study Evaluating the Initial Experience with a Novel Aortic Arch Stent Graft System.

Ann Surg 2021 Mar 4. Epub 2021 Mar 4.

Heart Institute, Hadassah - Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel Ospedale San Camillo-Forlanini, Roma, Italy Ospedale San Filippo Neri, Roma, Italy Peter Munk Cardiac Centre Toronto General Hospital, Toronto, Canada Department of Cardiac, Thoracic, Vascular Sciences and Public health, University of Padua, Italy Universitätsklinik für Gefäß- und Endovaskularchirurgie, Düsseldorf, Germany Aortic and Vascular Center, Clinic Hirslanden, Zürich, Switzerland Clinic for cardiac and vascular surgery, university hospital Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland Auckland Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand Endospan Ltd., Herzlia, Israel University of Palermo, Vascular Surgery Unit, AOUP "P. Giaccone", Palermo, Italy.

Objective: To assess the initial clinical experience with a novel endograft system (NEXUS Aortic Arch Stent Graft System) designed to treat aortic arch pathologies and address the morphology and hemodynamic challenges of the aortic arch.

Summary Background Data: The aortic arch remains the most challenging part of the aorta for both open and endovascular repair. Transcatheter aortic arch repair has the potential to significantly reduce surgical risks.

Methods: Patients underwent transcatheter aortic arch repair with a single branch, two stent graft system, implanted over a through-and-through guidewire from the brachiocephalic trunk, to the descending aorta with an ascending aorta stent graft. The ascending aorta stent graft is deployed into a designated docking sleeve to connect the two stent grafts and isolate the aortic arch pathology. Proximal landing zone in all cases was in Zone 0. Anatomical inclusion criteria included adequate landing zone in the ascending aorta, brachiocephalic trunk and descending thoracic aorta. Preparatory debranching procedure was performed in all patients with carotid - carotid crossover bypass and left carotid to left subclavian bypass, or parallel graft from descending aorta to left subclavian artery. Safety and performance were evaluated through one year. Survival analysis used the Kaplan-Meier method.

Results: Twenty-eight patients, 79% males, with a mean age of 72.2 ± 6.2 years were treated with 100% procedural success. Isolated aortic arch aneurysm was the principle pathology in 17 (60.7%) of patients while chronic aortic dissection was the principle pathology in 6 (21.4%) of patients. The remaining 5(17.8%) had combined or other pathologies. At one month, the vascular pathology was excluded in 25 of 26 alive patients (96.1%). The 30 days mortality rate was 7.1%, stroke rate was 3.6% (all non-disabling) and combined mortality/stroke rate was 10.7%. One year mortality was 10.7%, without device or aneurysm related death. Two patients (7.1%) reported stroke or transient ischemic attack at one year that recovered completely. One year combined mortality/stroke rate was 17.8%. There were three patients (10.7%) that had device related unplanned reinterventions through one year.

Conclusions: The NEXUS Aortic Arch Stent Graft System, a novel single branch, two stent graft system used for endovascular aortic arch repair that requires landing in the ascending aorta, demonstrates a high success rate with excellent one year safety and performance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/SLA.0000000000004843DOI Listing
March 2021

Single staged hybrid approach for multilevel aortic-iliac-femoral-popliteal disease.

Int J Surg Case Rep 2020 22;77S:S166-S169. Epub 2020 Sep 22.

Vascular Surgery Unit - AOUP Policlinico 'P. Giaccone', Palermo, Italy; Department of Surgical, Oncological and Oral Sciences, University of Palermo, Italy.

Introduction: Multilevel peripheral arterial disease (MPAD) is the main cause of critic limb ischemia (CLI). Vascular interventions are required to increase distal blood flow and reduce the risk of lower limb amputation.

Presentation Of Case: We report a case of complex hybrid revascularization in a patient presenting a Rutherford V MPAD involving the infrarenal aorta, iliac, femoral and popliteal segments. The simultaneous hybrid intervention consisted of an endovascular aortic stent-graft placement and a surgical above-the-knee prosthetic femoro-popliteal bypass. In the same operation a renal stenting was performed due to a significant renal artery stenosis associated to a systemic hypertension non-responder to medical management.

Discussion: Hybrid interventions can be performed simultaneously or staged with benefit given by the complementary role of endovascular and surgical treatments allowing the correction of eventually inadequate results of both approaches. Reports of simultaneous hybrid treatments are limited but, despite the complexity of such procedures, primary success rate is reported high. Also in the reported case, a complex simultaneous treatment in a patient presenting MPAD in association to a significant and symptomatic renal artery disease was feasible in the same operation.

Conclusion: Hybrid procedure are safe with high degree of efficacy in terms of revascularization procedure, reduced morbidity and shorter intensive care and hospital stay. In our experience, the use of hybrid procedure is technically feasible and allowed the treatment of MPAD with a good outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijscr.2020.09.018DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7876840PMC
September 2020

Simultaneous endovascular treatment of synchronous symptomatic acute type B aortic dissection and large infrarenal aortic aneurysm. Technical tips and case report.

Int J Surg Case Rep 2020 11;77S:S157-S161. Epub 2020 Aug 11.

Vascular Surgery Unit, AOUP Policlinico 'P. Giaccone', Palermo, Italy; Department of Surgical, Oncological and Oral Sciences, University of Palermo, Italy.

Introduction: Data from the literature suggest that in patients with acute type B aortic dissection (ATBAD), associated with AAA, rupture risk is higher at the confluence tract than isolated lessions. Herein, we report a case of ATBAD and AAA managed with simultaneous intervention.

Case Presentation: We report a complicated case of a symptomatic patient presenting with a type B aortic dissection and false lumen extension into superior mesenteric artery (SMA) with an infrarenal abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). Severe back pain and hypertension were the patient's initial complaints. This patient underwent endovascular repair with a thoracic and infrarenal aortic endograft.

Discussion: AAA rupture has been detected at admission in three-fourths of patients with ATBAD that extended to or involved a coexisting unoperated atherosclerotic aneurysms. Prompt surgical intervention is essential to deal with this dreadful aortic emergency.

Conclusion: In our experience a totally endovascular solution to treat a complicated ATBAD plus AAA was a rapid solution with low invasivity, no complication and complete healing of patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijscr.2020.07.060DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7876933PMC
August 2020

A rare case of infrarenal aortic coarctation in a young female.

Int J Surg Case Rep 2020 24;77S:S152-S156. Epub 2020 Aug 24.

Vascular Surgery Unit - AOUP Policlinico 'P. Giaccone', Palermo, Italy; Department of Surgical, Oncological and Oral Sciences - University of Palermo, Italy.

Introduction: Infrarenal abdominal aortic coarctation (AAC) is an extremely rare disease. It can be associated with renal artery stenosis determining secondary renal hypertension.

Presentation Of Case: We report a case of AAC in young female patient presenting systemic hypertension non-responder to medical treatment. Diagnostics revealed the involvement of the right renal artery as the cause of hypertension. The management consisted of percutaneous renal artery stenting and close surveillance for the aortic segment. The treatment was uneventful with resolution of the hypertensive condition.

Discussion: AAC etiology is unknown. There are no studies comparing the long-term treatment outcome in adult patients. The long-term prognosis depends mainly on blood pressure control and the underlying disease. In the reported case the treatment of the renal lesion was adequate to control the secondary hypertension. This approach does not preclude future intervention in the aortic segment and provides a fast-recovery and less invasive approach to the major clinical manifestation.

Conclusion: In this case the treatment of the specific vascular lesion was adequate to address the main clinical hypertensive manifestation. This less-invasive approach did not preclude future intervention in the aortic segment where the evolution of the disease is unknown.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijscr.2020.07.083DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7876927PMC
August 2020

Endovascular Treatment of Spontaneous and Isolated Infrarenal Acute Aortic Syndrome with Unibody Aortic Stent-Grafts.

World J Surg 2020 Dec 3;44(12):4267-4274. Epub 2020 Sep 3.

Department of Surgical, Oncological and Oral Sciences (Di.Chir.On.S.), University of Palermo, Via L. Giuffrè, 5, 90100, Palermo, Italy.

Introduction: Spontaneous acute aortic syndrome (IAAS) is rarely localized in the infrarenal aorta. The endovascular approach is preferred over conventional open surgery with fewer complications. However, dedicated endovascular devices for IAAS treatment are unavailable. The aim was to report a large single-center experience using unibody stent-grafts to address IAAS.

Methods: From April 2016 to March 2019, a retrospective analysis of patients presenting spontaneous and isolated IAAS was performed. Patients addressed with the unibody stent-graft (AFX endovascular AAA system; Endologix Inc., Irvine, CA) were included in the study. Indications to IAAS treatment were persistent symptoms and/or dilated abdominal aorta (>3 cm). The measured outcomes were technical success; early outcomes (<30 days) including mortality, morbidity, symptoms recurrence, and endoleak occurrence; and late outcomes (>30 days) including mortality, symptoms recurrence, endoleak occurrence, stent-graft patency, and survival. Median follow-up was 23.77 ± 10 months.

Results: Twenty-one patients with IAAS were included. Indications to treatment were symptoms in 14 (67%) patients and dilated abdominal aorta in 7 (33%). Technical success was achieved in all cases. No perioperative mortality and 1 (4.8%) early femoral access complication was encountered. During the follow-up were registered 1 (4.8%) aortic unrelated death and 1 (4.8%) stent-graft limb stenosis. The 36 months estimated survival and freedom from reintervention were 92% (CI: 37-43; SE: 1.7) and 94% (CI: 37-44; SE: 1.7), respectively.

Conclusions: The endovascular treatment of IAAS with unibody stent-graft (AFX endovascular AAA system; Endologix Inc.) is safe and effective with promising mid-term outcomes. The use of unibody stent-grafts expands the endovascular indication, despite the usual anatomic IAAS features. Larger studies with longer follow-up are required to validate the outcomes of the reported technique.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00268-020-05754-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7599153PMC
December 2020

Re: "Peroperative Intravascular Ultrasound for Endovascular Aneurysm Repair versus Peroperative Angiography: A Pilot Study in Fit Patients with Favorable Anatomy".

Ann Vasc Surg 2020 10 15;68:e581-e582. Epub 2020 May 15.

Department of Public Health, University Federico II of Naples, Vascular Surgery Unit, Naples, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.avsg.2020.04.045DOI Listing
October 2020

European guidelines on chronic mesenteric ischaemia - joint United European Gastroenterology, European Association for Gastroenterology, Endoscopy and Nutrition, European Society of Gastrointestinal and Abdominal Radiology, Netherlands Association of Hepatogastroenterologists, Hellenic Society of Gastroenterology, Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiological Society of Europe, and Dutch Mesenteric Ischemia Study group clinical guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of patients with chronic mesenteric ischaemia.

United European Gastroenterol J 2020 05 16;8(4):371-395. Epub 2020 Apr 16.

Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Erasmus MC University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Chronic mesenteric ischaemia is a severe and incapacitating disease, causing complaints of post-prandial pain, fear of eating and weight loss. Even though chronic mesenteric ischaemia may progress to acute mesenteric ischaemia, chronic mesenteric ischaemia remains an underappreciated and undertreated disease entity. Probable explanations are the lack of knowledge and awareness among physicians and the lack of a gold standard diagnostic test. The underappreciation of this disease results in diagnostic delays, underdiagnosis and undertreating of patients with chronic mesenteric ischaemia, potentially resulting in fatal acute mesenteric ischaemia. This guideline provides a comprehensive overview and repository of the current evidence and multidisciplinary expert agreement on pertinent issues regarding diagnosis and treatment, and provides guidance in the multidisciplinary field of chronic mesenteric ischaemia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2050640620916681DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7226699PMC
May 2020

Endovascular Treatment of Spontaneous Internal Carotid Artery Dissection with Proximal Embolic Protection Device.

Ann Vasc Surg 2020 Jul 2;66:667.e9-667.e14. Epub 2020 Jan 2.

University of Palermo, Department of Surgical, Oncological and Oral Sciences (Di.Chir.On.S.), Palermo, Italy; Vascular Surgery Unit, Palermo, Italy.

Background: The aim of this study was to report the feasibility and outcomes with the endovascular treatment of spontaneous internal carotid artery dissections (ICADs) using a proximal embolic protection device (EPD).

Methods: This is a retrospective analysis of patients treated for spontaneous symptomatic ICAD using a proximal EPD from January 2017 to December 2018. Indication for treatment was the presence of neurologic symptoms. Early outcomes measured included technical success, perioperative mortality, and major cardiovascular or cerebrovascular complications. Late outcomes were recurrent neurologic symptoms, patency, and reinterventions.

Results: A total of 4 male patients with ICAD were included. A preoperative cerebral computed tomography positive for cerebral ischemic events was reported in all cases. In 3 patients, the neurologic symptoms consisted of a transient ischemic attack; the remaining patient presented an amaurosis fugax and aphasia. In 2 patients, ICAD was associated with a carotid significant stenosis. In all patients, the reported approach was feasible with no complications and complete anatomic dissection resolution. At a mean follow-up of 18 months, all stents are patent and no restenosis recurrence or complications were registered.

Conclusions: The use of proximal EPDs allowed the treatment of ICAD under flow arrest, minimizing the risk of stroke during the endovascular maneuvers. Larger series are required to validate this treatment strategy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.avsg.2019.12.019DOI Listing
July 2020

Managing Peripheral Artery Disease in Diabetic Patients: A Questionnaire Survey from Vascular Centers of the Mediterranean Federation for the Advancing of Vascular Surgery (MeFAVS).

Ann Vasc Surg 2020 Apr 17;64:239-245. Epub 2019 Oct 17.

Vascular and Endovascular Surgery Unit, Department of Public Health, University Federico II of Naples, Naples, Italy.

Background: The Mediterranean Federation for the Advancing of Vascular Surgery (MeFAVS) was founded on October 1, 2018, to enhance cooperation among vascular professionals within Mediterranean countries. Due to its prominent social and economic impact on national health systems, diabetic arteriopathy has been selected as the very first topic to be investigated by the federation.

Methods: MeFAVS members were asked to reply to a questionnaire on the management of diabetic ischemic foot. Results were collected and analyzed statistically. The questionnaire consisted of 15 multiple choice answers regarding diabetic foot (DF) diagnosis and treatment. The questionnaire was submitted to 21 centers on April 20, 2019.

Results: Response rate was 62%. The survey revealed that vascular surgeons, diabetologists, and wound care nurses made-up the core of the diabetic teams present in 76.9%, 69.3%, and 92.3% of the centers, respectively. Diabetic teams were most often led by vascular surgeons (53.8%) and diabetologists (42.2%), but only in 7.9% of cases by nurses. Duplex ultrasonography and computed tomographic angiography were the most commonly available tools used to assess diabetic peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Surgical wound care was undertaken by vascular surgeons in the majority of cases, and only in 46.2% of the cases to orthopedic or plastic surgeons, while nonsurgical wound care was handled by specialized nurses (76.6%) and diabetologists (53.8%). First-line revascularization was preferred over conservative treatment (61.5% vs 53.8%) and endovascular strategy (45.3%) over open (33.7%) or hybrid (21.0%) surgery. Vascular surgeons and interventional radiologists were found to be the most common performers of endovascular revascularization (92.3% and 53.8%, respectively). Amputations had an overall rate of 16.6% (range 4-30%) and a mean reintervention rate of 22.5%, and were usually performed by vascular surgeons for both minor and major interventions (84.6%) followed by orthopedic surgeons (15.4% minor and 30.8% major). The availability of a DF clinic (84.6%) and endovascular (53.8%) and open surgery (46.2%) capabilities were considered fundamental to reduce amputation rates.

Conclusions: Especially since the introduction and spreading of new endovascular techniques for the treatment of DF, it is a common consensus amongst vascular surgeons that a standardized approach to the discipline is necessary in order to improve outcomes such as amputation-free survival and mortality and it is with this perspective and purpose that transnational cooperation amongst vascular professionals and residents in training are aiming for greater proficiency in endovascular and open surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.avsg.2019.09.013DOI Listing
April 2020

Improved technique for sheath supported contralateral limb gate cannulation in endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm repair.

Vasa 2020 Jan 24;49(1):39-42. Epub 2019 Sep 24.

University of Palermo, Department of Surgical, Oncological and Oral Sciences, Vascular Surgery Unit, Palermo, Italy.

To present a technique of sheath supported contralateral limb gate (CLG) cannulation of modular bifurcated stent-graft in endovascular abdominal aortic repair. After totally percutaneous bilateral femoral access, the 9F introducer sheath is exchanged to a 30 cm 12 fr introducer sheath over a stiff wire contralateral to the intended main stent-graft insertion side and advanced into the aorta below the lowest renal artery. Parallel to the stiff wire within the sheath an additional standard J-tip guidewire with a 5 fr Pigtail angiographic catheter is advanced to the level of the renal arteries. After main body deployment, the 12 fr introducer sheath and J-tip wire with pigtail catheter are retracted until the CLG opening level, maintaining the stiff "buddy" wire in position to support the 12 fr sheath, maintaining its distal opening close to the contralateral gate opening to achieve easy cannulation. Retrospective analysis of video archive from July 2016 to February 2018 evidenced 55 recorded EVAR cases. All CLG cannulations were obtained with Standard J-tip or Terumo Glidewire wires and with Pig-Tail or Berenstein catheters. Technical success was 100 %. Mean fluoroscopy time to accomplish CLG cannulation was 37.6 33 (range 1-105) seconds. The aortic carrefour angulation on coronal axis strongly correlates with cannulation time p = <.001, with longer cannulation time for higher carrefour angulations on coronal axis (Pearson correlation coefficient 0.47). The use of 12 fr sheath with parallel wire introduction technique, appears to be a safe and reliable tool to facilitate CLG cannulation during EVAR procedures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1024/0301-1526/a000820DOI Listing
January 2020

Patient-Specific Rehearsal Feasibility Before Endovascular Repair of Ruptured Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm.

J Endovasc Ther 2019 12 3;26(6):871-878. Epub 2019 Sep 3.

Vascular Surgery Unit, Department of Surgical, Oncological and Oral Sciences, University of Palermo, Italy.

To evaluate the feasibility of a patient-specific rehearsal (PsR) before emergency endovascular aneurysm repairs (eEVAR) and its influence on the operation. From February 2016 to October 2016, 10 consecutive patients (mean age 75±7.4 years; 9 men) presenting with a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm (rAAA) suitable for standard EVAR were enrolled in the study. A 3-dimensional (3D) model of the abdominal aorta was generated on a virtual reality simulator based on the patient's computed tomography (CT) images. Following the patient-specific simulation setup, PsR was conducted during patient admission or in parallel with the preoperative eEVAR workup. Measured outcomes were PsR feasibility only in the first 4 patients and impact on operative performance thereafter (changes in device selection, the planning process, clinical outcomes, perioperative mortality, and complication rates). Technical metrics and timing of system setup, rehearsal, interval from patient arrival to the actual procedure, and eEVAR were recorded. Mean time for 3D model creation was 21.3±7.8 minutes (range 13-37); there was a significant positive relationship between aortic neck diameter and segmentation time (p=0.003). The overall mean time for simulator setup and PsR was 54±14 minutes (range 37-80); PsR alone was completed in a mean 31±40 minutes (95% confidence interval -60 to -2.2). The actual eEVAR procedure duration was 69±16 minutes (range 45-90). No delay in the actual eEVAR procedure was registered owing to the PsR pathway. In 6 patients, preprocedure rehearsal induced changes in operative strategy, including device selection, main body introduction side, and/or deployment configuration. In 4 cases, rehearsal was performed twice to achieve optimal performance. PsR before eEVAR was feasible in all cases and caused no time delays in the actual eEVAR procedure. PsR optimized eEVAR planning by identifying optimal strategy for stent-graft component selection and deployment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1526602819873133DOI Listing
December 2019

Single-Center Experience and Preliminary Results of Intravascular Ultrasound in Endovascular Aneurysm Repair.

Ann Vasc Surg 2019 Apr 27;56:209-215. Epub 2018 Nov 27.

Department of Surgical Oncological and Oral Sciences (DICHIRONS), University of Palermo, Vascular Surgery Unit, Palermo, Italy.

Background: Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) has been introduced as diagnostic adjunct to provide new insights into the diagnosis and therapy of vascular disease. Herein, we compared the outcomes of conventional endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) and EVAR with IVUS in patients presenting with infrarenal abdominal aortic aneurysm using a propensity-matched cohort.

Methods: From May 2013 to August 2017, 221 patients were retrospectively analyzed. Of that, 122 patients were eligible for inclusion and underwent propensity score matching. Perioperative mortality and morbidity, renal function impairment, endoleak incidence, mean contrast medium usage, operative time, radiation exposure (including fluoroscopy time, dose-area product [DAP], and digital subtraction angiography [DSA] runs), survival, and freedom from reintervention were the outcomes measured.

Results: After matching, 52 patients were included, 26 in the conventional EVAR group and 26 in the EVAR with IVUS group. No perioperative mortality or type I/III endoleak were registered. One perioperative lymphatic fistula and one iliac limb occlusion were observed. In the EVAR with IVUS group, a significant reduction of contrast medium (92 [vs. 51 ± 17] vs. 51 [20-68] mL; P = 0.003) and radiation exposure including fluoroscopy time (12 [9-16] vs. 20 [12-25] min; P = 0.001), DAP (15 [9-21] vs. 32 [16-44] G*cm; P = 0.002), and DSA runs (2 [1-3] vs. 3 [2-4]; P = 0.04) was reported. No differences were observed in terms of glomerular filtration rate (86 [45-121] vs. 90 [38-117] mL/min; P = 0.14) and operation time (176 [124-210] vs. 179 [120-210]; P = 0.48). Survival at 36 months was 93% for standard EVAR and 92% for EVAR with IVUS (P = 0.845). Freedom from reintervention at 36 months was 85.5% in both the groups (P = 0.834).

Conclusions: In this preliminary experience, the use of IVUS during EVAR was feasible with no registered postoperative complications. A significant reduction of contrast medium usage and radiation exposure was observed with the use of IVUS. The IVUS is an adjunctive tool to consider in the vascular surgeon armamentarium, especially in centers where advanced radiological tools of imaging fusion are not available.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.avsg.2018.09.016DOI Listing
April 2019

Collected Transatlantic Experience From the PERICLES Registry: Use of Chimney Grafts to Treat Post-EVAR Type Ia Endoleaks Shows Good Midterm Results.

J Endovasc Ther 2018 Aug 18;25(4):492-498. Epub 2018 Jun 18.

7 Department of Vascular Surgery, "San Camillo-Forlanini" Hospital, Rome, Italy.

Purpose: The aim of this retrospective analysis was to evaluate the performance of the chimney (ch) technique in the treatment of type Ia endoleaks after standard endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR).

Methods: Between January 2008 and December 2014, 517 chEVAR procedures were performed in 13 US and European vascular centers (PERICLES registry). Thirty-nine patients (mean age 76.9±7.1 years; 33 men) were treated for persistent type Ia endoleak and had computed tomography angiography or magnetic resonance angiography follow-up at >1 month. Endurant abdominal stent-grafts were used in the 20 cases. Single chimney graft placement was performed in 18 (46%) patients and multiple in 21 (54%). Overall, 70 visceral vessels were targeted for revascularization.

Results: Technical success was achieved in 35 (89.7%) cases; 3 persistent type Ia endoleaks and 1 chimney graft occlusion were detected within the first 30 days. Thirty-day mortality was 2.6%. Two other deaths (not aneurysm related) occurred during a mean follow-up of 21.9 months (0.23-71.3). Primary patency of the chimney grafts was 94.3% at 36 months. In a subgroup analysis comparing Endurant to other stent-grafts, no significant differences were observed regarding persistent endoleak [1/20 (5%) vs 2/19 (11%), p=0.6] or reintervention [1/20 (5%) vs 0/19 (0%)].

Conclusion: The present series demonstrates that chEVAR in the treatment of post-EVAR type Ia endoleaks has satisfactory results independent of the abdominal and chimney graft combinations. Midterm results show that chEVAR is an effective method for treating type Ia endoleaks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1526602818782941DOI Listing
August 2018

Early outcomes with a single-sided access endovascular stent.

J Vasc Surg 2018 07 27;68(1):83-90.e2. Epub 2018 Mar 27.

Cardiovascular Surgery Unit, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Objective: The objective of this study was to report the 1-year follow-up study results of the new Horizon stent graft (Endospan, Herzliya, Israel) from two different prospective consecutive trials. The Horizon abdominal aortic aneurysm stent graft system is a 14F profile system requiring only a single access site. It consists of three modules, introduced separately: base limb (iliac to iliac limb); distal aortic limb; and proximal aortic limb with a bare suprarenal crown and active fixation.

Methods: Data from the first in man (FIM) clinical study with 10 patients enrolled and the pivotal study with 30 patients were analyzed. Outcomes measured were freedom from major adverse events (MAEs) including all-cause mortality, myocardial infarction, renal failure, respiratory failure, paraplegia, stroke, bowel ischemia, and procedural blood loss ≥1000 mL. Performance end points included successful delivery and deployment of the device, freedom from aneurysm growth ≥5 mm, type I or type III endoleak, stent graft occlusion, conversion to open surgery, rupture, and stent graft migration.

Results: In the FIM study, one conversion to open surgery with >1000 mL of blood loss was registered perioperatively. In the pivotal study, no perioperative MAE was registered. Overall, at 1-year follow-up, two deaths and one aneurysm growth unrelated to endoleak were registered.

Conclusions: The results of both the FIM and pivotal studies demonstrated that 39 of 40 procedures were successful for delivery and deployment of the Horizon stent graft. No MAE was registered during the follow-up. The primary safety and performance end points were met in both studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2017.11.069DOI Listing
July 2018

Incidence and prognostic factors related to major adverse cerebrovascular events in patients with complex aortic diseases treated by the chimney technique.

J Vasc Surg 2018 05 2;67(5):1372-1379. Epub 2017 Nov 2.

Department of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, University of Münster, Münster, Germany; Department of Vascular Surgery, St. Franziskus-Hospital GmbH Münster, Münster, Germany.

Objective: Endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) with the chimney technique (ch-EVAR) has been used for the treatment of aortic aneurysms as an alternative approach to fenestrated endografting or open repair. Nonetheless, the need for an upper extremity arterial access may contribute to a higher risk for periprocedural cerebrovascular events. This study reports on the perioperative cerebral and major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events (MACCE) after ch-EVAR.

Methods: The PERICLES registry (PERformance of the chImney technique for the treatment of Complex aortic pathoLogiES) is an international, retrospective multicenter study evaluating the performance of ch-EVAR for the treatment of complex aortic pathologies. For the purpose of the current analysis, 425 patients treated by ch-EVAR between 2008 and 2014 were included. The primary outcome of this analysis was the incidence of procedure related cerebrovascular events defined as transient ischemic attack or stroke. The secondary end point was in-hospital MACCE, including acute coronary syndrome, stroke, and death of any cause.

Results: The incidence of clinical relevant cerebrovascular events was 1.9% (8/425). A postoperative transient ischemic attack was observed in four patients (0.95%) and a stroke in additional four (0.95%). Three patients died during the hospital stay secondary to sequelae from postoperative stroke. A prior history of stroke/transient ischemic attack, atrial fibrillation, previous carotid revascularization, or known carotid artery disease did not significantly increase the risk for adverse neurologic events. The overall MACCE rate amounted to 8.5% (36/425). Logistic regression analysis revealed that the use of bilateral upper extremity access (odds ratio [OR], 2.79; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.04-7.45]), aneurysm rupture (OR, 5.33; 95% CI, 1.74-16.33), and a prolonged operation time (>290 minutes; OR, 1.005; 95% CI, 1.001-1.008) were associated with a significantly increased risk for MACCE.

Conclusions: This analysis demonstrates that ch-EVAR is associated with a relatively low rate of cerebrovascular events. However, a postoperative stroke is associated with increased mortality. Ruptured aneurysms, bilateral upper extremity access as in case of multiple chimney graft placement, and longer operative times were identified as independent risk factors for MACCE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2017.08.079DOI Listing
May 2018

Mortality rates and risk factors for emergent open repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms in the endovascular era.

Updates Surg 2018 Mar 14;70(1):129-136. Epub 2017 Sep 14.

Clinic for Cardiovascular Surgery, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

The background of this paper is to report the mortality at 30 and 90 days and at mean follow-up after open abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) emergent repair and to identify predictive risk factors for 30- and 90-day mortality. Between 1997 and 2002, 104 patients underwent emergent AAA open surgery. Symptomatic and ruptured AAAs were observed, respectively, in 21 and 79% of cases. Mean patient age was 70 (SD 9.2) years. Mean aneurysm maximal diameter was 7.4 (SD 1.6) cm. Primary endpoints were 30- and 90-day mortality. Significant mortality-related risk factor identification was the secondary endpoint. Open repair trend and its related perioperative mortality with a per-year analysis and a correlation subanalysis to identify predictive mortality factor were performed. Mean follow-up time was 23 (SD 23) months. Overall, 30-day mortality was 30%. Significant mortality-related risk factors were the use of computed tomography (CT) as a preoperative diagnostic tool, AAA rupture, preoperative shock, intraoperative cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), use of aortic balloon occlusion, intraoperative massive blood transfusion (MBT), and development of abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS). Previous abdominal surgery was identified as a protective risk factor. The mortality rate at 90 days was 44%. Significant mortality-related risk factors were AAA rupture, aortocaval fistula, peripheral artery disease (PAD), preoperative shock, CPR, MBT, and ACS. The mortality rate at follow-up was 45%. Correlation analysis showed that MBT, shock, and ACS are the most relevant predictive mortality factor at 30 and 90 days. During the transition period from open to endovascular repair, open repair mortality outcomes remained comparable with other contemporary data despite a selection bias for higher risk patients. MBT, shock, and ACS are the most pronounced predictive mortality risk factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13304-017-0488-yDOI Listing
March 2018

Symptomatic Deep Femoral Artery Pseudoaneurysm Endovascular Exclusion. Case Report and Literature Review.

Ann Vasc Surg 2017 Jul 5;42:303.e5-303.e9. Epub 2017 Apr 5.

Vascular Surgery Unit, University of Palermo, AOUP "P. Giaccone", Palermo, Italy.

Deep femoral artery pseudoaneurysms (DFAPs) are rare and generally occur after penetrating trauma or surgical procedures. A 36-year-old obese man presented with pain in correspondence of the anterior-lateral thigh after 6 months from gunshot wound. Duplex and computed tomography (CT) showed a bilobed right DFAP (maximal diameter 12.9 cm). The patient was managed urgently, under local anesthesia, by placement in the distal DFA of a Viabahn 8 × 100-mm stent graft (W L Gore & Associates, Inc). The postoperative course was uneventful, and the 24-month CT showed regular stent-graft patency and 20-mm DFAP shrinkage. The literature review reported 8 cases of DFAPs; of these 6 were managed by endovascular mean (3 stent-graft implantations and 3 coil embolization). The remaining 2 cases were managed surgically (one of these after failed coil embolization). In conclusion, the use of covered stent graft was effective to treat a DFAP localized in the medium DFA. This tool allowed maintaining the native DFA patency and the preservation of its main branches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.avsg.2016.11.026DOI Listing
July 2017

Mid-term results of zone 0 thoracic endovascular aneurysm repair after ascending aorta wrapping and supra-aortic debranching in high-risk patients.

Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg 2017 06;24(6):882-889

Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Cantonal Hospital of Muensterlingen, Muensterlingen, Switzerland.

Objectives: Surgical repair of aneurysmal disease involving the ascending aorta, aortic arch and eventually the descending aorta is generally associated with significant morbidity and mortality. A less invasive approach with the ascending wrapping technique (WT), supra-aortic vessel debranching (SADB) and thoracic endovascular aneurysm repair (TEVAR) in zone 0 was developed to reduce the associated risk in these patients.

Methods: During a 10-year period, consecutive patients treated by the ascending WT, SADB and TEVAR in zone 0 were included. All patients were considered at high risk for conventional surgery. Measured outcomes included perioperative deaths and morbidity, maximal aortic transverse diameter (TD) and its postoperative evolution, endoleak, survival, freedom from cardiovascular reinterventions, SADB freedom from occlusion and aortic valve function during follow-up. Median follow-up was 37.4 [mean = 34; range, 0-65; standard deviation (SD) = 20] months.

Results: Twenty-six cases were included with a mean age of 71.88 ( r  = 56-87; SD = 8) years. A mean of 2.9 supra-aortic vessels (75) per patient was debranched from the ascending aorta. The mean time interval from WT/SADB and TEVAR was 29 ( r  = 0-204; SD = 48) days. TEVAR was associated with chimney and/or periscope grafts in 6 (23%) patients, and extra-anatomical supra-aortic bypasses were performed in 6 (23%) patients. Perioperative mortality was 7.7% (2/26). Neurological events were registered in 3 (11.5%) cases, and a reintervention was required in 3 (11.5%) cases. After the WT, the ascending diameter remained stable during the follow-up period in all cases. At mean follow-up, significant shrinkage of the arch/descending aorta diameter was observed. A type I/III endoleak occurred in 3 cases. At 5 years, the rates of survival, freedom from cardiovascular reinterventions and SADB freedom from occlusion were 71.7, 82.3 and 96%, respectively.

Conclusions: The use of the ascending WT, SADB and TEVAR in selected patients with complex thoracic aorta disease is safe and shows promising mid-term results at 3 years. The combination of these techniques could represent an alternative to the standard open surgical repair, especially in older patients or in patients unfit for cardiopulmonary bypass.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/icvts/ivx016DOI Listing
June 2017

Predilation technique with balloon angioplasty to facilitate percutaneous groin access of large size sheath through scar tissue.

Vascular 2017 Aug 9;25(4):396-401. Epub 2017 Jan 9.

1 Clinic for Cardiovascular Surgery, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Purpose Percutaneous remote access for endovascular aortic repair is an advantageous alternative to open access. Previous surgery in the femoral region and the presence of synthetic vascular grafts in the femoral/iliac arteries represent major limitations to percutaneous remote access. The aim of this study was to evaluate an original technique used for enabling percutaneous remote access for thoracic or abdominal endovascular aortic repair in patients with scar tissue and/or a vascular graft in the groin. Methods Twenty-five consecutive patients with a thoracic (11/25; 44%) or an aortic aneurysm (14/25; 66%) and with a synthetic vascular graft in the groin (16/25; 64%) or a redo groin access (9/25; 36%) were managed through the percutaneous remote access. In all patients, a percutaneous transluminal angioplasty balloon was used to predilate the scar tissue and the femoral artery or the synthetic vascular graft after preclosing (ProGlide®; Abbott Vascular, Santa Clara, CA, USA). In 10 patients, requiring a 20 Fr sheath, a 6 mm percutaneous transluminal angioplasty balloon was used; and in the remaining 15, requiring a 24 Fr sheath, an 8 mm percutaneous transluminal angioplasty balloon. Preclosing was exclusively performed using ProGlide®. Mean follow-up was 15 months. Results In all cases, stent-graft deployment was successful. There was one surgical conversion (4%; 1/25) due to bleeding from a femoral anastomosis. Two cases required additional percutaneous maneuvers (postclosing with another system in one patient and endoluminal shielding with stent-graft in the other patient). No pseudoaneurysm or access complication occurred during the follow-up. Conclusions Percutaneous access in redo groins with scar tissue and/or synthetic vascular graft using ultrasound-guided punction, preclosing with ProGlide® system and predilation with percutaneous transluminal angioplasty balloon to introduce large size sheath as used for endovascular aortic repair showed to be feasible, safe and with few local complications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1708538116688786DOI Listing
August 2017

Endovascular treatment of spontaneous isolated abdominal aortic dissection.

Acta Radiol Open 2016 Dec 5;5(12):2058460116681042. Epub 2016 Dec 5.

Department of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery University Federico II of Naples, Naples, Italy.

Isolated abdominal aortic dissection is a rare clinical disease representing only 1.3% of all dissections. There are a few case series reported in the literature. The causes of this pathology can be spontaneous, iatrogenic, or traumatic. Most patients are asymptomatic and symptoms are usually abdominal or back pain, while claudication and lower limb ischemia are rare. Surgical and endovascular treatment are two valid options with acceptable results. We herein describe nine cases of symptomatic spontaneous isolated abdominal aortic dissection, out of which four successfully were treated with an endovascular approach between July 2003 and July 2013. All patients were men, smokers, symptomatic (either abdominal or back pain or lower limb ischemia), with a history of high blood pressure, with a medical history negative for concomitant aneurysmatic dilatation or previous endovascular intervention. Diagnosis of isolated abdominal aortic dissection were established by contrast-enhanced computed tomography angiography (CTA) of the thoracic and abdominal aorta. All nine patients initially underwent medical treatment. In four symptomatic cases, non-responsive to medical therapy, bare-metal stents or stent grafts were successfully positioned. All patients completed a CTA follow-up of at least 12 months, during which they remained symptom-free. Endovascular management of this condition is associated with a high rate of technical success and a low mortality; therefore, it can be considered the treatment of choice when it is feasible.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2058460116681042DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5152934PMC
December 2016

Use of the directional atherectomy for the treatment of femoro-popliteal lesions in patients with critical lower limb ischemia.

Transl Med UniSa 2016 Nov 1;15:42-47. Epub 2016 Nov 1.

Vascular Surgery Unit, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.

Femoro-popliteal PTA for the treatment of critical limb ischemia is frequently associated with unsatisfactory procedural success rates while directional atherectomy (DCA) has improved success rate since claudicant patients undergoing percutaneous treatment of femoro-popliteal obstructive disease. The aim of this prospective study is to evaluate the safety, efficacy and procedural success of DCA, at one year, in the percutaneous treatment of femoro-popliteal obstructive disease in patients with critical limb ischemia.

Methods: From March 2012 to March 2013 18 consecutive patients with critical limb ischemia were treated with DCA (Turbohawk/Covidien-ev3 Endovascular Inc., North Plymouth, Minnesota, USA) for the treatment of femoro-popliteal obstructive disease. Patients were evaluated at 12 months.

Results: Technical and procedural success was achieved in every patient. No in-hospital major adverse cardiovascular events occurred. Primary endpoint: freedom from any amputation was obtained in all patients. Secondary endpoints: clinical (Rutherford class improvement) and hemodynamic success (Ankle-brachial index improvement) was achieved in all patients.

Conclusion: The use of DCA for the treatment of femoro-popliteal obstructive disease is a safe and effective therapeutic strategy for patients with critical limb ischemia. The data included in our study should be considered hypothesis-generating in order to design of a randomized trial comparison with conventional PTA.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5120749PMC
November 2016

Stent-assisted detachable coil embolization of wide-necked renal artery aneurysms.

Diagn Interv Radiol 2017 Jan-Feb;23(1):77-80

Department of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, University Federico II of Naples, Naples, Italy.

Renal artery aneurysms (RAAs) are rare with an estimated incidence of 0.1% in the general population, and they represent approximately 25% of all visceral aneurysms. The gold standard of treatment is open surgery, but it is associated with a high risk of nephrectomy, mortality, and morbidity. Less invasive endovascular therapies are becoming increasingly common for the treatment of RAAs. Here, we aimed to report three cases of wide-necked complex renal artery aneurysms treated endovascularly using stent-assisted coil embolization with self-expandable stent nitinol Solitaire AB and Concerto Axium coils. In addition, we describe the use of the waffle-cone technique in a case of wide-necked saccular RAA involving the renal artery bifurcation. Technical success was achieved in all three cases with no early or late complications and no recurrences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5152/dir.2016.15551DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5214082PMC
May 2017

Cinical outcomes of Endurant II stent-graft for infrarenal aortic aneurysm repair: comparison of on-label versus off-label use.

Diagn Interv Radiol 2016 Sep-Oct;22(5):450-4

Vascular Surgery Unit, AOUP "P. Giaccone", University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.

Purpose: We aimed to compare the outcomes of the Endurant II (Medtronic) stent-graft used under instructions for use versus off-label in high-risk patients considered unfit for conventional surgery.

Methods: Data from patients treated with the Endurant II stent-graft between December 2012 and March 2015 were retrospectively analyzed. Sixty-four patients were included. Patients were assigned to group A if treated under instructions for use (n=34, 53%) and to group B if treated off-label (n=30, 47%). Outcome measures included perioperative mortality and morbidity, survival, freedom from reintervention, endoleak incidence, in-hospital length of stay, and mean stent-graft component used. Mean follow-up was 22.61±12 months (median, 21.06 months; range, 0-43 months).

Results: One perioperative mortality (1.6%) and one perioperative complication (1.6%) occurred in group B. At two months follow-up, one iliac limb occlusion (1.6%) occurred in group A. No type I/III endoleaks were recorded. A type II endoleak was identified in three cases (4.7%). Overall survival at three years was 89% (97% for group A, 82% for group B; P = 0.428). Reintervention-free survival at three years was 97% for both groups (P = 0.991). A longer in-hospital stay was observed in group B (P = 0.012).

Conclusion: The Endurant II (Medtronic) new generation device was safe in off-label setting at mid-term follow-up. The off-label use of the Endurant II (Medtronic) is justified in patients considered unfit for conventional surgery. Larger studies are required in this subgroup of patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5152/dir.2016.15418DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5019849PMC
May 2017

Pre and postoperative evaluation of transcranial Doppler pulsatility index of the middle cerebral artery in patients with severe carotid artery stenosis.

Ann Ital Chir 2016 ;87:209-13

Unlabelled: In the management of severe carotid artery stenosis particular importance must be given to the evaluation of the risk of perioperative cerebral ischemic events. Our study analysed the possible relationship between the pre-operative middle cerebral artery Gosling Index, calculated after transcranial Doppler (TCD), and intra-operative stump pressure (SP), in order to identify patients with higher risk of ischemic accidents. Moreover, we studied pre- and post- operative Gosling Index values in association with possible events during follow-up. In a one-year time lapse 47 patients underwent either carotid endoarterectomy (CEA) or carotid artery stenting (CAS) with proximal embolic protection system. All patients were subject to pre- and post-operative TCD with calculation of the Gosling Index and intra-operative SP. We observed that higher pre-operative Gosling Index values are associated with lower intra-operative SP values, elements that represent a higher risk for cerebro-vascular ischemic accidents; this result is particularly evident when observing the diabetic sub-population. An increase in ischemic events did not present statistically significant differences when observing the populations treated with CEA or CAS. TCD and SP are valid and simple exams that can help identify precociously patients with a higher risk of cerebro-vascular accidents related to surgical or endovascular treatment.

Key Words: Carotid artery stenosis, Carotid endarterectomy, Endovascular treatment.
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October 2017

Treatment of isolated ascending aortic aneurysm by off-pump epiaortic wrapping is safe and durable.

Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg 2016 08 15;23(2):286-91. Epub 2016 Apr 15.

Clinic for Cardiovascular Surgery, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Objectives: Isolated ascending aortic aneurysm (iAA) is usually treated by open graft repair requiring sternotomy, cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) and cardioplegia. This approach carries significant mortality in older patients or those presenting with comorbidities. We report an original series of patients presenting with iAA and treated with epiaortic wrapping by using a synthetic mesh. This less invasive aortic repair technique allows reducing the aortic diameter to a predefined value and is performed without CPB.

Methods: Data from patients presenting with an iAA and treated with the wrapping technique (WT) by polypropylene/polyester mesh from November 2006 to July 2015 were collected. The end-points that were analysed included maximal aortic transverse diameter, perioperative mortality and morbidity, survival, freedom from reinterventions and aortic valve function during follow-up. The maximal aneurysm transverse diameter was analysed based on contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CTA) or magnetic resonance (MR) performed preoperatively, and during the follow-up.

Results: The off-pump WT was used in 33 cases with no perioperative mortality. The median radiological follow-up was 33.47 (range: 1-106) months. Overall, the WT achieved a 30% diameter reduction. The mean preoperative and postoperative ascending aortic transverse diameter was 5.5 cm [standard deviation (SD): 0.6] and 3.7 cm (SD: 0.30), respectively (P = 0.001). In addition, CTA or MR follow-up showed stable diameters at the level of the aortic root and the distal ascending aorta. No death occurred during the follow-up. At 5 years, the estimated freedom rate from reinterventions of the aortic root and ascending aorta was 94%.

Conclusions: This series shows that the WT with a polypropylene/polyester mesh allows safe off-pump treatment of patients with iAA. Mid- and long-term results are promising. This technique could be an attractive alternative, especially for patients unfit for aortic surgery with CPB and cardioplegia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/icvts/ivw103DOI Listing
August 2016

The Gore Hybrid Vascular Graft in renovisceral debranching for complex aortic aneurysm repair.

J Vasc Surg 2016 07 27;64(1):33-8. Epub 2016 Feb 27.

Clinic for Cardiovascular Surgery, University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland.

Objective: This study reports our initial experience with the Gore Hybrid Vascular Graft (GHVG; W. L. Gore & Associates, Flagstaff, Ariz) for staged hybrid open renovisceral debranching and endovascular aneurysm repair in patients affected by thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms and pararenal abdominal aortic aneurysms (PAAAs).

Methods: Between December 2012 and December 2013, we analyzed outcomes of 13 patients who underwent open surgical debranching of renovisceral vessels for thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm and PAAAs. All patients were considered at high risk for conventional surgery. Inclusion criterion was treatment by open surgical debranching of at least one visceral artery (renal artery, superior mesenteric artery [SMA], or celiac trunk [CT]) using the GHVG. In a second step, the aortic stent graft was implanted to exclude the aneurysm. If required, parallel grafts to the remaining visceral arteries were deployed in the same procedure. One patient had a symptomatic descending thoracic aortic aneurysm and another had a ruptured PAAA. Perioperative measured outcomes were immediate technical success rate, mortality, and morbidity. Median follow-up was 24.8 months (range, 0-15; mean, 8.2; standard deviation, 4 months).

Results: All open surgical debranching of renovisceral vessels were completed as intended. GHVG was used to revascularize 20 visceral vessels in 13 patients with a mean of 1.54 vessels per patient. Six renal arteries (30%; 2 right and 4 left), 9 SMAs (45%), and 5 CTs (25%) were debranched. In nine of 13 (66%) patients, other renovisceral arteries were addressed with chimney/periscope, Viabahn Open Revascularization Technique, and end-to-side anastomosis. Two of 13 patients (15%) died of bowel ischemia. Neither patient had GHVG revascularization to the SMA or CT. Perioperative complications occurred in three patients (23%; 1 renal hematoma, 1 respiratory insufficiency, and 1 small-bowel ischemia related to a SMA GHVG thrombosis). At 24 months, estimated survival was 85%, and estimated primary and secondary patency were 94% and 100%, respectively.

Conclusions: This limited series extracted from a more consistent hybrid procedure experience showed a mortality rate similar to most recent reports. Technical feasibility and the short-term patency rate of the GHVG for renovisceral debranching during staged hybrid open and endovascular procedures were satisfactory. Use of GHVGs may represent a useful revascularization adjunct to minimize visceral ischemia in these challenging patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2015.12.059DOI Listing
July 2016

Endovascular treatment of large and wide aortic neck: case report and literature review.

Gen Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2017 Apr 10;65(4):219-224. Epub 2016 Feb 10.

Vascular Surgery Unit, University of Palermo, AOUP "P. Giaccone", Via L. Giuffrè, 5, 90100, Palermo, Italy.

Large (24-34 mm) and wide (≥35 mm) aortic necks are a contraindication to endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR). A 63-year-old man, unfit for conventional surgery, presented a 79 mm abdominal aortic aneurysm with 36.5 mm aortic neck and a 62 mm right common iliac artery aneurysm. He was treated endovascularly with standard commercially available stent-graft using the so-called 'funnel technique'; by placing a thoracic stent-graft inside a bifurcated device to achieve proximal sealing. The completion angiography and the 6 months follow-up with computed tomography showed no stent-graft migration, limb occlusion or endoleak. The literature review reported 179 cases of large aortic neck managed with EVAR, all cases treated with standard devices. Conversely a wide aortic neck was reported in 9; in 2 cases were employed custom-made devices and in 7 standard stent-graft. The use of EVAR with commercially available stent-grafts is feasible and it represents an option especially in non-elective setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11748-016-0627-2DOI Listing
April 2017
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