Publications by authors named "Franziska Heidemann"

58 Publications

Non-Standard Management of Target Vessels With the Inner Branch Arch Endograft: A Single-Center Retrospective Study.

J Endovasc Ther 2021 Nov 15:15266028211058682. Epub 2021 Nov 15.

Department of Vascular Medicine, German Aortic Center Hamburg, University Heart Center of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate early and mid-term results of non-standard management of the supraaortic target vessels with the use of the inner branch arch endograft in a single high-volume center.

Material And Methods: A single-center retrospective study including all patients undergoing implantation of an inner branch arch endograft from December 2012 to March 2021, who presented a non-standard management of the supraaortic target vessels (any bypass other than a left carotid-subclavian or landing in a dissected target vessel). Technical success, mortality, reinterventions, endoleak (EL), and aortic remodeling at follow-up were analyzed.

Results: Twenty-four patients were included. In 17 (71%) cases, the non-standard management was related to innominate artery (IA) compromise (12 with IA dissection, 2 with short IA, 2 with short proximal aortic landing zone that required occlusion of IA, 1 with occluded IA after open arch repair). Two (8%) cases were related to an aberrant right subclavian artery (RSA), 1 patient (4%) due to the concomitant presence of a left vertebral artery (LVA) arising from the arch and an occluded left subclavian artery (LSA), and another patient presented with an occluded LSA distal to a dominant vertebral artery. Three (13%) cases were exclusively related to management in patients with genetic aortic syndromes. Twenty (83%) patients had a previous type A aortic dissection. Ten (42%) patients presented a thoracic or thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm and 8 (33%) patients an arch aneurysm, 6 of them associated to false lumen (FL) perfusion. There were 2 (8%) perioperative minor strokes, and 1 patient with perioperative mortality. Seven patients presented an early type I endoleak, all resolved at follow-up. Seven patients required reinterventions during follow-up (7 reinterventions related to continuous false lumen perfusion, 3 related to Type Ia endoleak, 2 related to surgical bypass). All patients who presented with FL perfusion had complete FL thrombosis at follow-up. No patient presented aneurysm growth at follow-up.

Conclusions: The use of the inner branch arch endograft with a non-standard management of the supraaortic target vessels is a possible option. Despite a high reintervention rate, regression or stability of the aneurysmal diameter was achieved in all the patients with follow-up.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/15266028211058682DOI Listing
November 2021

One-Year Results of ZBIS Iliac Branch Device With an Off-Label Connection Limb.

J Endovasc Ther 2021 Oct 28:15266028211054760. Epub 2021 Oct 28.

Department of Vascular Medicine, German Aortic Center Hamburg, University Heart Center Hamburg, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.

Purpose: The purpose of this article is to study 1-year results of Zenith branch iliac endovascular graft (ZBIS) with the off-label use of a 13 mm spiral Z limb to connect to the aortic main body.

Materials And Methods: A retrospective review from 2015 to 2019 of all iliac branch devices (IBDs) was performed at 1 institution that were connected to an aortic main body with a 13 mm spiral Z limb and had at least 1-year follow-up with computed tomography (CT). Primary endpoints are freedom from ZBIS separation from the connection limb, endoleak (EL), or reintervention at 1 year. Secondary endpoints are primary and secondary ZBIS patency, presence of any EL, and aortic reinterventions.

Results: Of 149 IBDs implanted in this period, 45 ZBIS in 35 patients were connected with a 13 mm limb and had a 1-year CT; 97% of patients had common iliac artery (CIA) aneurysms, 7% of patients had hypogastric artery (HA) aneurysms, and 30% of patients had bilateral ZBIS implantation. Technical success was 98%. In 84% of cases, the Advanta V12 was used as the HA mating stent; 56% of patients had an EL, mostly type II, which resolved spontaneously in 70% at 1 year, and 9% of ZBIS required reinterventions at 1 year (2 for thrombosis, 2 for type Ic EL from HA mating stent). One-year ZBIS primary patency and secondary patency were 96% and 100%, respectively. No EL was noted to be related to the 13 mm connection limb. No migration or separation of the devices occurred.

Conclusions: The use of 13 mm spiral Z limb to connect a ZBIS with the main body in our series yields a high technical success rate and good 12-month outcomes without device separation or migration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/15266028211054760DOI Listing
October 2021

Bail-out technique to detach a locked Viabahn endoprosthesis in branched thoracic endovascular aortic repair.

J Vasc Surg Cases Innov Tech 2021 Dec 1;7(4):593-596. Epub 2021 Jul 1.

German Aortic Center, Department of Vascular Medicine, University Heart and Vascular Center, University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.

A 69-year-old female patient presented with a 5.8 cm thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm Crawford type II after partial arch replacement. She was treated by a branched thoracic endovascular aortic repair procedure using a branched arch endograft with one retrograde branch to the left subclavian artery. After deployment of a Viabahn as a bridging covered stent to the left subclavian artery, the deployment line did not detach and the delivery catheter could not be removed. With the use of a physician-modified sidehole catheter and balloon fixation, the pulling line could be released without displacement of the Viabahn endoprosthesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvscit.2021.06.006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8515410PMC
December 2021

How Does Female Sex Affect Complex Endovascular Aortic Repair? A Single Centre Cohort Study.

Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg 2021 Oct 19. Epub 2021 Oct 19.

German Aortic Centre Hamburg, Department of Vascular Medicine, University Heart and Vascular Centre UKE Hamburg, University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.

Objective: There is growing evidence of a female patient disadvantage in complex endovascular aortic repair using fenestrated and branched endografts (FB-EVAR) primarily related to peri-procedural events including ischaemic and access vessel complications. This study aimed to determine the impact of sex differences on treatment patterns, and in hospital outcomes in a single centre cohort.

Methods: This was a retrospective cross sectional single centre cohort study of all consecutive FB-EVAR procedures provided to patients with asymptomatic pararenal and thoraco-abdominal aortic aneurysm (TAAA) between 1 January 2010 and 28 February 2021. Adjusted multivariable logistic regression models were developed using backward (Wald) elimination of variables to determine the independent impact of female sex on short term outcomes.

Results: In total, 445 patients (24.3% females, median age 73.0 years, IQR 66, 78) were included. Female patients had a smaller aneurysm diameter, less frequent coronary artery disease (29.6% vs. 44.8%, p = .007) and history of myocardial infarction (2.8% vs. 15.4%, p < .001) when compared with males. Females were more frequently treated for TAAA than males (49.1% vs. 25.2%, p < .001). The median length of post-procedural hospital stay was 10 days in females and 9 in males. In adjusted analyses, female sex was independently associated with higher mortality (odds ratio [OR] 10.135, 95% CI 2.264 - 45.369), post-procedural complications (OR 2.500, 95% CI 1.329 - 4.702), spinal cord ischaemia (OR 4.488, 95% CI 1.610 - 12.509), sepsis (OR 4.940, 95% CI 1.379 - 17.702), and acute respiratory insufficiency (OR 3.283, 95% CI 1.015 - 10.622) after pararenal aortic aneurysm repair during the hospital stay.

Conclusion: In this analysis of consecutively treated patients, female sex was associated with increased in hospital mortality, peri-procedural complications, and spinal cord ischaemia after elective complex endovascular repair of pararenal aortic aneurysm, while no differences were revealed in the TAAA subgroup. These results suggest that sex related patient selection and peri-procedural management should be studied in future research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejvs.2021.08.034DOI Listing
October 2021

Iatrogenic coarctation caused by branched thoracic endovascular aortic repair treated with Palmaz XL stent and triple kissing balloon technique.

J Vasc Surg Cases Innov Tech 2021 Sep 4;7(3):433-437. Epub 2021 Jun 4.

German Aortic Center, Department of Vascular Medicine, University Heart and Vascular Center, University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.

We have described a technique to treat iatrogenic coarctation caused by a branched thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) procedure with a Palmaz XL stent (Palmaz Genesis; Cordis Corp, a Cardinal Health Company, Milpitas, Calif) and triple kissing balloons. A 42-year-old woman with Marfan syndrome had presented with aneurysmatic dilatation of the aortic arch 10 years after open aortic arch repair. After successful branched TEVAR, a significant coarctation just short of the left common carotid artery was noted with significant pressure gradient between the ascending and descending aorta. Branched TEVAR in previous open aortic arch replacement can result in iatrogenic coarctation that can be successfully treated using a Palmaz XL stent and triple kissing balloons.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvscit.2021.05.012DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8263522PMC
September 2021

A health insurance claims analysis on the effect of female sex on long-term outcomes after peripheral endovascular interventions for symptomatic peripheral arterial occlusive disease.

J Vasc Surg 2021 09 27;74(3):780-787.e7. Epub 2021 Feb 27.

Department of Vascular Medicine, Research Group GermanVasc, University Heart and Vascular Center Hamburg, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany. Electronic address:

Objective: Several reports have addressed sex disparities in peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAOD) treatment with inconclusive or even conflicting results. However, most previous studies have neither been sufficiently stratified nor used matching or weighting methods to address severe confounding. In the present study, we aimed to determine the disparities between sexes after percutaneous endovascular revascularization (ER) for symptomatic PAOD.

Methods: Health insurance claims data from the second-largest insurance fund in Germany, BARMER, were used. A large cohort of patients who had undergone index percutaneous ER of symptomatic PAOD from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2018 were included in the present study. The study cohort was stratified by the presence of intermittent claudication, ischemic rest pain, and wound healing disorders. Propensity score matching was used to adjust for confounding through differences in age, treated vessel region, comorbidities, and pharmacologic treatment. Sex-related differences regarding cardiovascular event-free survival, amputation-free survival, and overall survival within 5 years of surgery were determined using Kaplan-Meier time-to-event curves, log-rank test, and Cox regression analysis.

Results: In the present study, 50,051 patients (47.2% women) were identified and used to compose a matched cohort of 35,232 patients. Among all strata, female patients exhibited lower mortality (hazard ratio [HR], 0.69-0.90), fewer amputations or death (HR, 0.70-0.89), and fewer cardiovascular events or death (HR, 0.78-0.91). The association between female sex and improved long-term outcomes was most pronounced for the patients with intermittent claudication.

Conclusions: In the present propensity score-matched analysis of health insurance claims, we observed superior cardiovascular event-free survival, amputation-free survival, and overall survival during 5 years of follow-up after percutaneous ER in women with symptomatic PAOD. Future studies should address sex disparities in the open surgical treatment of PAOD to illuminate whether the conflicting data from previous reports might have resulted from insufficient stratification of the studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2021.01.066DOI Listing
September 2021

Aortic Remodeling After Custom-Made Candy-Plug for Distal False Lumen Occlusion in Aortic Dissection.

J Endovasc Ther 2021 06 26;28(3):399-406. Epub 2021 Feb 26.

German Aortic Center, Department of Vascular Medicine, University Heart & Vascular Center Hamburg, Germany.

Purpose: To report a single-center experience with the use of a custom-made Candy-Plug (CP) for distal false-lumen (FL) occlusion in subacute and chronic aortic dissection (AD).

Materials And Methods: A retrospective single-center analysis was conducted on consecutive patients with subacute and chronic AD who were treated with a custom-made CP for distal FL occlusion using 3 design generations (CP I to CP III) from October 2013 to September 2019.

Results: A custom-made CP was used in 57 patients. Of these, 34 patients (29 males, mean age 62±10 years) were treated with a CP I vs 23 patients (16 males, mean age 59±17 years) with CP II/III. Technical success was achieved in 57 (100%) patients. Clinical success was achieved in 54 (95%) patients; 33 (97%) in CP I group vs 21 (91%) patients in CP II/III group, p=0.116. The mean hospital stay was 10±8 days (9±5 days in CP I group vs 13±9 days in CP II/III, p=0.102). The 30-day computed tomography angiography (CTA) confirmed successful CP placement at the intended level in all patients within both groups. Early complete FL occlusion was achieved in 50 (88%) patients; 30 (88%) patients in CP I group vs 20 (87%) in CP II/III group, p=0.894. Follow up CTA was available in 44 (77%) patients. Of these; 30/34 (88%) patients in CP I group with mean follow-up 29±17 months) vs. 14/23 (61%) patients with mean follow-up 14±5 months in CP II/III group. Thoracic aortic remodeling was achieved in 34/44 (77%) patients; 25/30 (83%) patients in CP I group vs 9/14 (64%) patients in CP II/III group, p=0.197. The aneurysm size remained stable in 9/44 (20%) patients; 5/30 (17%) patients in CP I group vs 4/14 (29%) patients in CP II/III group, p=0.741. The thoracic aneurysm increased size was seen in 1/44 (2%) patient. This patient was in CPII/III group.

Conclusion: CP technique using custom-made devices is technically feasible with a low mortality and morbidity, and a high rate of aortic remodeling. Both, the original design (CP I) and newer designs with a self-closing central sleeve (CP II and CP III) showed similar excellent outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1526602821996722DOI Listing
June 2021

Management of Descending Thoracic Aortic Diseases: Similarities and Differences Among Cardiovascular Guidelines.

J Endovasc Ther 2021 Apr 13;28(2):323-331. Epub 2021 Jan 13.

German Aortic Center Hamburg, Department of Vascular Medicine, University Heart & Vascular Center, Hamburg, Germany.

Cardiovascular societies have developed recommendations regarding the management of thoracic aortic diseases. While improvements in treatment have been observed during the past decade in regard to patient selection, thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) and associated techniques, and high-volume centralization, the broad expansion of TEVAR has raised considerations about its indications, appropriateness, limitations, and application. The aim of this systematic review was to assess the similarities and differences among current cardiovascular societies' guidelines for the management of thoracic aortic diseases. The MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were searched from January 2009 to May 2020. The initial search identified 990 articles. After exclusion of duplicate or inappropriate articles, the final analysis included 5 articles from cardiovascular societies published between 2010 and 2020. Selected controversial topics were analyzed, including diagnosis, imaging, spinal cord ischemia prevention, and management of the most important thoracic aortic pathologies. The analysis included data concerning the therapeutic approach in acute and chronic type B aortic dissection, penetrating aortic ulcer, intramural hematoma, thoracic aortic aneurysm, and traumatic aortic injury, as well a discussion of inflammatory aneurysms, aortitis, and genetic syndromes. The review presents consistent and controversial recommendations, as well as "gray zone" issues that need further investigation. There was significant overlap and agreement among the 5 societies regarding the management of thoracic aortic diseases. Especially in dissection and aneurysm management, TEVAR has established its role as the treatment of choice. However, robust evidence is still needed in many aspects of the management of thoracic aortic pathologies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1526602820987808DOI Listing
April 2021

Transcaval embolization for type II endoleak after endovascular aortic repair of infrarenal, juxtarenal, and type IV thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm.

J Vasc Surg 2021 07 1;74(1):38-44. Epub 2021 Mar 1.

German Aortic Center Hamburg, Department of Vascular Medicine, University Heart and Vascular Center, Hamburg, Germany.

Objective: This study aims to determine the outcomes of transcaval embolization (TCE) for type II endoleak after infrarenal endovascular aortic repair (EVAR) and fenestrated/branched EVAR (F/BEVAR).

Methods: A retrospective single-center cohort study of all consecutive TCE procedures between August 2015 and August 2019 was performed to investigate technical success, in-hospital morbidity, and 30-day mortality as well as clinical success during follow-up. The indication for TCE was an aneurysm sac growth of 5 mm or more owing to a type II endoleak after EVAR for infrarenal or F/BEVAR for juxtarenal and type IV thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm.

Results: A total 25 TCE procedures in 24 patients (95.8% male) were included. Technical success was 96.0% (24/25); selective and nonselective TCE were performed in 48% of patients. The in-hospital morbidity and 30-day mortality were 0%. The median follow-up was 23.1 months (interquartile range, 10.9-40.1 months). Freedom from type II endoleak-related reintervention was 84.6% at 12 months. Comparing clinical success after TCE, reintervention was necessary in 16.7% of patients after nonselective and 20% of patients after selective TCE. Regarding TCE after EVAR vs F/BEVAR, reintervention was performed in 12.5% of EVAR and 33.3% of F/BEVAR patients during follow-up.

Conclusions: TCE is an acceptable treatment alternative for type II endoleak with aneurysm sac enlargement and can be used after EVAR for infrarenal abdominal aortic aneurysms and F/BEVAR for juxtarenal abdominal aortic aneurysms and type IV thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2020.12.067DOI Listing
July 2021

Sex Disparities in Long Term Outcomes After Open Surgery for Chronic Limb Threatening Ischaemia: A Propensity Score Matched Analysis of Health Insurance Claims.

Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg 2021 03 15;61(3):423-429. Epub 2020 Dec 15.

Department of Vascular Medicine, Research Group GermanVasc, University Heart and Vascular Centre Hamburg, University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany. Electronic address:

Objective: Several studies suggest a disadvantage for women in peri-operative morbidity and mortality after open surgery in peripheral arterial occlusive disease. In addition to their heterogeneity regarding design and analysed cohorts, long term data are mostly missing. This study aimed to determine sex disparities in outcomes after open revascularisation in chronic limb threatening ischaemia (CLTI).

Methods: Using health insurance claims data of the second largest insurance fund in Germany, BARMER, a large cohort of patients was sampled consecutively for analysis including index open surgical revascularisations of CLTI performed between 1 January 2010, and 31 December 2018. Propensity score matching was used to adjust for confounding. Sex related differences regarding overall survival, amputation free survival (AFS), and cardiovascular event free survival (CVEFS) during the five years after surgery were determined using Kaplan-Meier time to event curves, log rank test, logistic, and Cox regression.

Results: Among 9 526 patients (49.5% women) in the entire cohort, 6 502 patients were matched. Before matching, women were older at presentation (78.0 vs. 71.8 years, p < .001) and suffered more often from multiple comorbidities (van Walraven score > 9, 55.5% vs. 50.6%, p < .001). During the hospital stay, there were 692 (7.3%) deaths, while 4 631 deaths (48.6%) occurred during the follow up. In the matched cohort, the median follow up was 746 days for women and 871 days for men. In the matched analyses, female sex was significantly associated with better overall survival (hazard ratio, HR, 0.80, log rank p < .001), AFS (HR 0.81, log rank p < .0001), and CVEFS (HR 0.84, log rank p < .001) five years after the index treatment.

Conclusion: In this largest propensity score matched analysis of health insurance claims to date from Germany, evidence was found for better long term outcomes in women after open surgical revascularisations for chronic limb threatening ischaemia. Future guidelines and studies should address the impact of sex on patient selection practice and outcomes to determine the underlying reasons for existing disparities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejvs.2020.11.006DOI Listing
March 2021

The interrelationship between diabetes mellitus and peripheral arterial disease.

Vasa 2021 Sep 11;50(5):323-330. Epub 2020 Nov 11.

Department of Vascular Medicine, Research Group GermanVasc, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.

This systematic review examined the interrelationship between concomitant diabetes mellitus (DM) and peripheral arterial disease (PAD). The objective was to determine differences in the prevalence as well as in the outcomes in diabetic vs. non-diabetic PAD patients. The current review followed a study protocol that was published online in German in 2017. The search included societal practice guidelines, consensus statements, systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and observational studies published from 2007 to 2020 reporting symptomatic PAD and concomitant DM in patients undergoing invasive open-surgical and endovascular revascularizations. German and English literature has been considered. Eligibility criteria were verified by three independent reviewers. Disagreement was resolved by discussion involving a fourth reviewer. 580 articles were identified. After exclusion of non-eligible studies, 61 papers from 30 countries remained, respectively 850,072 patients. The included studies showed that PAD prevalence differed between diabetic vs. non-diabetic populations (20-50% vs. 10-26%), and further by age, gender, ethnicity, duration of existing diabetes, and geographic region. The included studies revealed worse outcomes regarding perioperative complications, amputation rate, and mortality rate in diabetic patients when compared to non-diabetic patients. In both groups, the amputation rates decreased during the research period. This review emphasizes an interrelationship between PAD and DM. To improve the outcomes, early detection of PAD in diabetic patients, and vice versa, should be recommended. The results of this systematic review may help to update societal practice guidelines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1024/0301-1526/a000925DOI Listing
September 2021

Revascularization of occluded renal artery stent grafts after complex endovascular aortic repair and its impact on renal function.

J Vasc Surg 2021 05 19;73(5):1566-1572. Epub 2020 Oct 19.

Department of Vascular Surgery, University Hospital, LMU Munich, Munich, Germany.

Background: Acute occlusion of renal bridging stent grafts after fenestrated/branched endovascular aortic repair (F/B-EVAR) is an acknowledged complication with high morbidity that often results in chronic dialysis dependence. The feasibility and effect of timely or late (≥6 hours of ischemia) renal artery revascularization has not been adequately reported.

Methods: We performed a retrospective, multicenter study across 11 tertiary institutions of all consecutive patients who had undergone revascularization of renal artery stent graft occlusions after complex EVAR. The end points were technical success, association between ischemia time and renal function salvage, interventional complications, mortality, and mid-term outcomes.

Results: From 2009 to 2019, 38 patients with 46 target vessels (TVs; eight bilateral occlusions) were treated for renal artery occlusions after complex EVAR (mean age, 63.5 ± 10 years; 63.2% male). Six patients had a solitary kidney (15.8%). Of the 38 patients, 16 (42.1%) had undergone FEVAR and 22 (57.9%) had undergone BEVAR. The technical success rate was 95.7% (44 of 46 TVs). The recanalization technique used was sole aspiration thrombectomy in 5.3%, aspiration thrombectomy and stent graft relining in 52.6%, and sole stent graft relining in 36.8%. The median renal ischemia time was 27.5 hours (range, 4-720 hours; interquartile range, 4-36 hours). Most patients (94.4%) had been treated after ≥6 hours of renal ischemia time, and 55.6% had been treated after 24 hours. In 14 patients (36.8%), renal function had improved after intervention (mean glomerular filtration rate improvement, 14.2 ± 9 mL/min/1.73 m). However, 24 patients (63.2%) showed no improvement. Improvement of renal function did not correlate with the length of renal ischemia time. Of the 14 patients with bilateral renal artery occlusion or a solitary kidney, 9 experienced partial recovery of renal function and no longer required hemodialysis. In-hospital mortality was 2.6%. The cause of renal stent graft occlusion could not be identified in 50% of the TVs (23 of 46). However, in 19 (41.3%), significant stenosis or a kink of the renal stent graft was found. The median follow-up was 11 months (interquartile range, 0-28 months). The estimated 1-year patient survival and patency rate of the renal stent grafts was 97.4% and 83.8%, respectively.

Conclusions: Revascularization of occluded renal bridging stent grafts after F/B-EVAR is a safe and feasible technique and can lead to significant improvement of renal function, even after long ischemia times (>24 hours) of the renal parenchyma or bilateral occlusion, as long as residual perfusion of the renal parenchyma has been preserved. Also, the long-term patency rates justify aggressive management of renal artery occlusion after F/B-EVAR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2020.09.036DOI Listing
May 2021

Management of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Disease: Similarities and Differences Among Cardiovascular Guidelines and NICE Guidance.

J Endovasc Ther 2020 Dec 19;27(6):889-901. Epub 2020 Aug 19.

German Aortic Center Hamburg, Department of Vascular Medicine, University Heart & Vascular Center, Hamburg, Germany.

The development of endovascular techniques has improved abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) management over the past 2 decades. Different cardiovascular societies worldwide have recommended the endovascular approach as the standard of care in their currently available guidelines. While endovascular treatment has established its role in daily clinical practice, a new debate has arisen regarding the indications, appropriateness, limitations, and role of open surgery. To inform this debate, the MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials databases were searched from 2010 to May 2020; the systematic search identified 5 articles published between 2011 and 2020 by 4 cardiovascular societies and the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Four debatable domains were assessed and analyzed: diagnostic methods and screening, preoperative management, indications and treatment modalities, and postoperative follow-up and endoleak management. The review addresses controversial proposals as well as widely accepted recommendations and "gray zone" issues that need to be further investigated and analyzed, such as screening in women, medical management, and follow-up imaging. While the recommendations for AAA management have significant overlap and agreement among international cardiovascular societies, the NICE guidelines diverge regarding the role of open repair in aortic disease, recommending conventional surgery in most elective cases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1526602820951265DOI Listing
December 2020

Long Term Outcomes After Revascularisations Below the Knee with Paclitaxel Coated Devices: A Propensity Score Matched Cohort Analysis.

Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg 2020 10 14;60(4):549-558. Epub 2020 Aug 14.

Department of Vascular Medicine, Research Group GermanVasc, University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany. Electronic address:

Objective: Endovascular revascularisation has become a standard approach for below knee lesions and paclitaxel coated devices have been widely used in patients with chronic limb threatening ischaemia. A recent meta-analysis reported higher mortality in paclitaxel coated devices compared with uncoated devices in femoropopliteal lesions. This study aimed to determine long term outcomes in below the knee interventions using paclitaxel coated devices in routine vascular care using a large and contemporary cohort.

Methods: A large cohort was created using all inclusive health insurance claims data of patients covered by the second largest insurance fund in Germany. The cohort included patients with index revascularisation of arteries below the knee performed from 1 January 2010, to 31 December 2018. Only patients with first paclitaxel coated device exposure were included. The study cohort was stratified into balloon vs. stent treatment and patients with paclitaxel coated devices were matched with uncoated devices using propensity score. Outcomes were evaluated using the Kaplan-Meier method and Cox regression.

Results: There were 14 738 patients (mean age 77.6 years, 43.6% female) and 6 568 matched patients included in the study. Increasing use of paclitaxel coated devices was observed during the study period (6% in 2010 vs. 31% in 2018, p < .001), and a total of 2 611 (39.8%) deaths occurred within five years of follow up. In the propensity score matched Cox model, a paclitaxel related reduction of five year mortality (hazards ratio, HR 0.84, 95% confidence interval, CI 0.78-0.91), amputation or death (HR 0.87, 95% CI 0.81-0.94), and cardiovascular event or death (HR 0.86, 95% CI 0.80-0.92) were observed.

Conclusion: In this propensity score matched cohort, reduced long term all cause mortality, reduced rates of amputation or death and cardiovascular event or death were observed at five years after the use of paclitaxel coated devices when compared with uncoated devices for the treatment of chronic limb threatening ischaemia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejvs.2020.06.033DOI Listing
October 2020

Long-term incidence of cancer after index treatment for symptomatic peripheral arterial disease - a health insurance claims data analysis.

Vasa 2020 Oct 18;49(6):493-499. Epub 2020 Aug 18.

Department of Vascular Medicine, Research Group GermanVasc, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.

: Cancer as a concomitant condition in symptomatic peripheral arterial disease (PAD) patients could have an impact on further therapy and the long-term prognosis of these patients. Aim of this study was to investigate whether there is an increased incidence of cancer in PAD patients and to quantify the corresponding effect size. : Between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2017, we analysed health insurance claims data from Germany's second-largest insurance fund, BARMER. Symptomatic PAD patients suffering from intermittent claudication (IC) or chronic limb-threatening ischaemia (CLTI) were stratified by gender at index treatment. PAD patients were then followed until an incident cancer diagnosis was recorded. To adjust for age and gender, standardized incidence ratios (SIR) were computed using the 2012 German standard population as reference. : 96,528 PAD patients (47% female, 44% IC, mean age 72 years) were included in the current study. When compared to the overall population, female and male PAD patients have a significantly increased risk of incident cancer of the lung (SIR 3.5 vs. 2.6), bladder (SIR 3.2 vs. 4.0), pancreas (SIR 1.4 vs. 1.6), and colon (SIR 1.3 vs. 1.3). During ten years of follow-up, some 7% of males and 4% of females developed lung cancer. For bladder, colon and pancreas cancer, the cumulative hazards were 1% vs. 3.2%, 2.2% vs. 2.8%, and 0.7% vs. 0.9%, respectively. : Patients suffering from symptomatic PAD face a markedly higher risk for incident cancer in the long-term follow-up. The cancer risk increased continuously for certain types and PAD was strongly associated with cancer of the lung, bladder, pancreas, and colon. Taking these results into account, PAD patients could benefit from secondary and tertiary screening. These results also emphasize the impact of common risk factors such as tobacco smoke as target for health prevention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1024/0301-1526/a000901DOI Listing
October 2020

Editor's Choice - Optimal Pharmacological Treatment of Symptomatic Peripheral Arterial Occlusive Disease and Evidence of Female Patient Disadvantage: An Analysis of Health Insurance Claims Data.

Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg 2020 09 12;60(3):421-429. Epub 2020 Jul 12.

Department of Vascular Medicine, Research Group GermanVasc, University Heart and Vascular Centre Hamburg, University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany. Electronic address:

Objective: Optimal pharmacological treatment (OPT) for peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAOD) includes prescription of lipid lowering drugs, antithrombotics, and antihypertensives to symptomatic patients affected by intermittent claudication or chronic limb threatening ischaemia. This study sought to determine sex disparities and time trends in prescription of OPT in this population (clinicaltrials.gov NCT03909022).

Methods: Using data from the second largest insurance fund in Germany, BARMER, data on patients with an index admission for symptomatic PAOD between 1 January 2010 and 30 June 2018 with follow up until the end of 2018 were analysed. Sex disparities in post-discharge prescription status six months after index admission were tested and adjusted for patient and healthcare variables using bivariable tests and logistic regression analysis. Time trends in the prescription prevalence of OPT were analysed and tested.

Results: There were 83 867 patients (mean age 71.9 years and 45.8% women) eligible for inclusion in the study. When compared with men, women had lower rates of prior outpatient care for PAOD (39.8% vs. 47.0%), were admitted more often with ischaemic rest pain (13.9% vs. 10.4%) and were older (74 vs. 70 y). After discharge, women had a lower rate of prescriptions for lipid lowering drugs (52.4% vs. 59.9%), while they received antihypertensive drugs more often (86.7% vs. 84.1%). We found evidence for a lower prescription prevalence of OPT in females (37.0% vs. 42.7%). Differences in patient and healthcare variables (e.g. demographics, comorbidities, prior treatment) between women and men explained 56% of this gap. The sex prescription gap did not narrow over time despite an overall upward trend in prescription prevalence for both women and men.

Conclusion: Although presenting older and with more severe symptoms at the index admission for PAOD, women have a lower prescription prevalence of OPT compared with men, particularly with respect to lipid lowering drugs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejvs.2020.05.001DOI Listing
September 2020

Technical Aspects of Branched Thoracic Arch Graft Implantation for Aortic Arch Pathologies.

J Endovasc Ther 2020 Oct 20;27(5):792-800. Epub 2020 May 20.

German Aortic Center Hamburg, Department of Vascular Medicine, University Heart & Vascular Center, University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.

Purpose: To describe the implantation steps and tips and tricks for the Inner Branch Arch Endograft designed to treat aortic arch aneurysm and chronic type A aortic dissection.

Technique: Anatomical suitability criteria should be met in order to use this device. The proximal segment of the graft lands in the ascending aorta distally to the sinotubular junction and the distal segment lands in the descending aorta. The device includes 2 inner branches; the proximal branch is used for a connection to the innominate artery (positioned slightly posterior at 12:30 o'clock), while the second branch is positioned slightly anterior at 11:30 o'clock and is used as a connection to the left common carotid artery. Access, implantation technique, deployment of the device, and catheterization of the branches are described thoroughly.

Conclusion: This Inner Branch Arch Endograft is an appealing alternative to treat aortic arch pathology, especially in patients unsuitable for open repair. Nevertheless, complex aortic arch repair is associated with a learning curve. Meticulous preoperative planning and a high level of concentration intraoperatively are mandatory.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1526602820925443DOI Listing
October 2020

Combined fenestrated-branched endovascular repair of the aortic arch and the thoracoabdominal aorta.

J Vasc Surg 2020 06 17;71(6):1825-1833. Epub 2020 Feb 17.

German Aortic Center, Department of Vascular Medicine, University Heart Center, Hamburg, Germany.

Objective: The aim of our study was to evaluate patients who underwent extensive endovascular aortic stent graft coverage (from the aortic arch to abdominal aorta) in terms of early and midterm clinical outcomes.

Methods: A retrospective multicenter study was undertaken. All patients were treated with extensive endovascular aortic stent graft coverage with fenestrated and branched endografts at three experienced endovascular centers.

Results: Between 2012 and 2017, there were 33 patients (22 male [67%]) treated with a combination of fenestrated-branched stent grafts in the aortic arch and the thoracoabdominal aorta. Most of the patients (20/33 [61%]) had fenestrated-branched endovascular aneurysm repair (fb-EVAR) of the thoracoabdominal aorta as a second-stage procedure after thoracic arch (fb-Arch) repair, 10 had fb-Arch repair as the first procedure, and three patients had a single-stage procedure. The mean age was 67 ± 13 years, and the mean interval between procedures was 13 ± 12 months. For fb-Arch repair, 20 fenestrated and 13 branched devices were used; for fb-EVAR, 23 fenestrated, 5 branched, and 5 composite devices were used. The use of spinal drainage was more common in fb-EVAR (20/33 [61%]). Technical success was 100%. Mean hospital stay was 15 ± 13 days for fb-Arch repair and 12 ± 9 days for fb-EVAR. Two patients died in the hospital after fb-EVAR, resulting in a 30-day mortality of 6% (2/33). No deaths occurred during the fb-Arch repair component or in the single-stage cases. Four patients developed spinal cord injury (12%), 1 had permanent paraplegia (3%), and 2 patients had a neurologic event (1 stroke [3%] and 1 transient ischemic attack [3%]). Six patients (18%) died during a mean follow-up of 23 ± 17 months. The survival at 12 months after the second procedure was 72%, and the freedom from any reintervention was 82%. The 12-month freedom from reintervention was 87% for fb-Arch repair and 81% for fb-EVAR.

Conclusions: Extensive endovascular coverage of the aorta for aortic disease seems to be a feasible procedure in experienced centers, with acceptable perioperative morbidity and mortality. Spinal cord ischemia appears acceptable despite extensive aortic coverage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2019.08.261DOI Listing
June 2020

Incidence, predictors, and outcomes of spinal cord ischemia in elective complex endovascular aortic repair: An analysis of health insurance claims.

J Vasc Surg 2020 09 28;72(3):837-848. Epub 2020 Jan 28.

Department of Vascular Medicine, University Heart and Vascular Center Hamburg, Research Group GermanVasc, German Aortic Center Hamburg, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany. Electronic address:

Objective: This study aimed to determine predictors and outcomes associated with spinal cord ischemia (SCI) after elective fenestrated or branched endovascular aneurysm repair (F/BEVAR) of thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm (TAAA), abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), or aortic dissection.

Methods: Health insurance claims data of Germany's third largest insurance provider, DAK-Gesundheit, were used to investigate SCI in elective F/BEVAR performed between 2008 and 2017. The International Classification of Diseases and German Operation and Procedure Classification System were used. We stratified the results into F/BEVAR with one or two (AAA) vs three or more (TAAA) fenestrations or branches.

Results: A total of 877 patients (18.9% female; 5.8% with SCI) matching the inclusion criteria were identified during the study period. SCI occurred more often after F/BEVAR of TAAA vs AAA (10.7% vs 3.0%; P < .001). SCI was associated with female sex in the AAA group (odds ratio, 3.87; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.25-11.15; P = .014) and with cardiac arrhythmias in the TAAA group (odds ratio, 2.98; 95% CI, 1.24-7.06; P = .013). Compared with patients without SCI, SCI patients were more likely to suffer from drug use disorders (eg, opioids, cannabinoids, sedatives) in the TAAA group (17.6% vs 2.1%; P < .05). After F/BEVAR of TAAA, the occurrence of SCI was associated with higher 90-day mortality (14.7% vs 1.1%; P < .05), longer postoperative hospital stay (22 vs 9 days; P < .05), and severe adverse events, such as acute respiratory insufficiency (44.1% vs 12.7%), acute renal failure (35.3% vs 11.3%), and pneumonia (29.4% vs 4.9%; all P < .05). In adjusted analyses, SCI was associated with worse long-term survival after F/BEVAR for TAAA (hazard ratio, 2.54; 95% CI, 1.37-4.73; P < .003).

Conclusions: Female AAA patients and TAAA patients with cardiac arrhythmias are at highest risk for development of SCI after F/BEVAR. The occurrence of this event was strongly associated with higher major complication rates and worse short-term and long-term survival. This emphasizes a need to further illuminate the value of spinal cord protection protocols in F/BEVAR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2019.10.095DOI Listing
September 2020

Balloon-Anchoring Technique to Stabilize Target Vessel Catheterization in Complex Endovascular Aortic Repair.

J Endovasc Ther 2020 04 28;27(2):248-251. Epub 2020 Jan 28.

German Aortic Center, Department of Vascular Medicine, University Heart & Vascular Center Hamburg, University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.

To describe a bailout technique to stabilize target vessel catheterization in branched endovascular aortic repair. The technique is demonstrated in a 75-year-old patient with a 75-mm symptomatic type III thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm that was treated with a t-Branch endograft. If a catheter cannot be advanced for exchange to a more stable guidewire after target vessel catheterization, the balloon-anchoring technique can be applied to stabilize the through-the-branch hydrophilic guidewire. Through a femoral access a catheter and hydrophilic wire are passed outside the device into the target vessel and exchanged with a stiff wire; a semicompliant balloon is advanced over the Rosen wire and inflated in the target vessel, stabilizing the through-the-branch hydrophilic wire and facilitating its exchange with a stiff wire over a catheter or advancement of the bridging covered stent directly. The balloon-anchoring technique adds to the spectrum of bailout techniques that can be applied in cases of challenging target vessel access.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1526602819900989DOI Listing
April 2020

Modern Image Acquisition System Reduces Radiation Exposure to Patients and Staff During Complex Endovascular Aortic Repair.

Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg 2020 02 20;59(2):295-300. Epub 2019 Dec 20.

Department of Vascular Medicine, German Aortic Centre Hamburg, University Heart Centre, University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.

Objective: Radiation damage during complex endovascular aortic repair (EVAR) is of major concern to patients and medical staff. This study investigates primarily the influence of different acquisition systems (Allura ClarityIQ vs. Allura Xper, Philips Healthcare, Best, the Netherlands) on radiation dose. Secondly, radiation exposure was analysed for operator positions as well as for procedure and patient specific parameters.

Methods: This was a retrospective study of prospectively collected data. The study prospectively included 62 consecutive patients (mean age 71.2 ± 8.4 years; 63% males) who underwent complex EVAR including fenestrated or branched EVAR of the thoraco-abdominal or the aortic arch from 30 June 2015 to 20 May 2016. In half the patients an advanced dose and real time image noise reduction technology (Allura ClarityIQ) was used, and in the other half the reference acquisition system (Allura Xper) was used. Patient demographics included age, gender, and body mass index.

Results: Sixty-two patients with mean age of 71.2 ± 8.4 years (63% males; 39/62) were treated using either Allura ClarityIQ or Allura Xper. Patients treated using Allura ClarityIQ had lower cumulative dose area product (18,948.3 ± 14,648.5 cGy cmvs. 38,512.4 ± 24,105.4 cGy cm, p < 0.001) and air kerma (2237.9 ± 1808 mGy vs. 4031 ± 3260.2 mGy, p = .010) in comparison with patients treated using Allura Xper.

Conclusion: Advanced dose and real time image noise reduction technology, such as Allura ClarityIQ, is a useful tool to lower the amount of radiation for patient and staff during complex endovascular aortic procedures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejvs.2019.07.044DOI Listing
February 2020

Ten Years of Urgent Care of Ruptured Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms in a High-Volume-Center.

Ann Vasc Surg 2020 Apr 18;64:88-98. Epub 2019 Oct 18.

Department of Vascular Medicine, University Heart and Vascular Centre Hamburg, Research Group GermanVasc, University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.

Background: The urgent treatment of ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms (rAAA) remains a challenging condition with devastating morbidity and mortality. Available studies are often limited due to a significant selection bias. This study aims to illuminate real-world evidence using comprehensive data from electronic health records, registries, postmortem findings, and administrative data on all consecutively treated patients presenting with rAAA at a tertiary care center.

Methods: This is a retrospective cross-sectional cohort study covering consecutively treated patients with rAAA between 2009 and 2018. All noninvasive treatments, fatalities, and invasive repairs were included. Information on patient's characteristics, prehospital, and inpatient care was gathered. Short-term outcomes and long-term survival were analyzed for relevant subgroups.

Results: In total, 139 patients with rAAA (median age 75 years and 20.9% females, 79.9% infrarenal) were treated increasingly frequent by endovascular aortic repair (EVAR) when compared to open-surgical aortic repair (OSR) during the study period (16.7% in 2009 to 33.3% in 2018, P < 0.05). The rate of patients who had been turned down for rAAA repair was 10.8%, and the overall in-hospital mortality was 43.2%. Perioperative morbidity and mortality were similar for EVAR and OSR, although patients treated by OSR presented with a lower mean Glasgow Coma Scale during the prehospital (12.7 vs. 14.3) and inpatient care (12.7 vs. 14.4) (both P < 0.001), higher rates of intubation (12.8% vs. 10.9%, P < 0.001), lower systolic blood pressure (115 mm Hg vs. 127 mm Hg, P = 0.042), and more often had a cardiac arrest before the operation (14.1% vs. 2.3%, P < 0.001). Higher patient's age (Odds Ratio, OR 1.09; Hazard Ratio, HR 1.06), history of stroke or transient ischemic attack (OR 5.30; HR 2.64), higher serum creatinine (OR 1.81; HR 1.31), and occurrence of colonic ischemia (OR 11.31; HR 2.82) were significantly associated with higher odds of dying in hospital and in the longer term, respectively.

Conclusions: We observed comparable outcomes following OSR and EVAR, although hemodynamically unstable patients were more likely to be treated by OSR. This study also confirmed the impact of colonic ischemia as a devastating complication following rAAA repair emphasizing the need for further reflection by the vascular community.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.avsg.2019.09.035DOI Listing
April 2020

No pills, more skills: The adverse effect of hormonal contraceptive use on exposure therapy benefit.

J Psychiatr Res 2019 12 28;119:95-101. Epub 2019 Sep 28.

Ruhr University, Faculty of Psychology, Mental Health Research and Treatment Center, Bochum, Germany. Electronic address:

Hormonal contraceptive use can aggravate existing symptoms of anxiety and depression and influence the response to pharmacologic treatment. The impact of hormonal contraceptive use on non-pharmacological treatment efficacy in anxiety disorders is less well explored. Oral contraceptives, which suppress endogenous sex hormone secretion, can alter fear extinction learning. Fear extinction is considered the laboratory proxy of exposure therapy in anxiety disorders. This study set out to examine whether oral contraceptive use is related to exposure-based treatment response in specific phobia. We recruited spider-phobic women (n = 28) using oral contraceptives (OC) and free-cycling women (n =26, No-OC). All participants were subjected to an identical in-vivo exposure. Exposure-based symptom improvement was assessed with several behavioral and subjective indices at pre-treatment, post-treatment and six-weeks follow-up. No-OC women showed higher pre-exposure fear levels on the FSQ and SPQ. OC women showed slightly less pronounced exposure benefit compared to their free-cycling counterparts (No-OC woman) as reflected by lower levels of fear reduction from pre-treatment to follow-up on the subjective level. After correction for multiple testing, OC and No-OC women showed differences in self-report measures (SPQ, FAS and SBQ) from pre- to follow-up treatment but not from pre-to post-treatment. These findings implicate that oral contraceptive use can account for differential exposure-based fear symptom improvement. Our study highlights the importance of monitoring and managing hormonal contraceptives use in the context of non-pharmacological exposure-based interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2019.09.016DOI Listing
December 2019

Dual-memory retrieval efficiency after practice: effects of strategy manipulations.

Psychol Res 2020 Nov 19;84(8):2210-2236. Epub 2019 Jun 19.

Medical School Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany.

The study investigated practice effects, instruction manipulations, and the associated cognitive architecture of dual-memory retrieval from a single cue. In two experiments, we tested predictions about the presence of learned parallelism in dual-memory retrieval within the framework of the set-cue bottleneck model. Both experiments included three experimental laboratory sessions and involved computerized assessments of dual-memory retrieval performance with strategy instruction manipulations. In Experiment 1, subjects were assigned to three distinct dual-task practice instruction groups: (1) a neutral instruction group without a specific direction on how to solve the task (i.e., neutral instruction), (2) an instruction to synchronize the responses (i.e., synchronize instruction), and (3) an instruction to use a sequential response style (i.e., immediate instruction). Results indicate that strategy instructions are able to effectively influence dual retrieval during practice. Mainly, the instruction to synchronize responses led to the presence of learned retrieval parallelism. Experiment 2 provided an assessment of the cognitive processing architecture of dual-memory retrieval. The results provide support for the presence of a structural bottleneck that cannot be eliminated by extensive practice and instruction manipulations. Further results are discussed with respect to the set-cue bottleneck model.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00426-019-01217-yDOI Listing
November 2020

The role of thoracic endovascular repair in elective, symptomatic and ruptured thoracic aortic diseases.

Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2019 Jul;56(1):197-203

Department of Vascular Surgery, University Aortic Center of the Ludwig-Maximilian University Munich, Munich, Germany.

Objectives: Thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) has emerged as a safe procedure in the treatment of a wide spectrum of descending thoracic aortic pathologies, with satisfactory results both in elective and urgent settings. We investigated the results of our elective, urgent and emergency TEVAR interventions.

Methods: A single-centre retrospective analysis of all consecutive patients undergoing TEVAR from 2010 to 2016 was performed. Primary end point of the study was early mortality, whereas the secondary end points included major complications according to the urgency of the procedure. The analysis was further conducted comparing symptomatic, asymptomatic and ruptured cases.

Results: Two hundred and eight patients were treated with TEVAR between January 2010 and April 2016 (mean age 67 ± 12 years, 142 men, 68.3%). Patients undergoing TEVAR as a first-stage procedure for complex thoraco-abdominal repair were excluded. The indication for treatment was a dissection in most cases (n = 92, 44.2%; acute dissection in 40 cases, 19.2%), followed by thoracic aneurysms (n = 64, 30.8%), penetrating aortic ulcers (n = 37, 17.8%), intramural haematomas (n = 8, 3.8%), traumatic ruptures (n = 3, 1.4%) and other indications (n = 4, 1.8%). One hundred and eight procedures were performed electively and 100 urgently. Forty-three patients were treated on an emergency bas for aortic rupture, 44 urgently for thoracic pain and 13 for acute ischaemic complications of aortic dissection or other indications. Ischaemic complications of dissection included 1 case of mesenteric ischaemia, 3 cases of acute renal failure, 4 cases of limb ischaemia and multiple ischaemic complications in 4 cases. Other causes of urgent TEVAR included 1 patient bleeding from a bronchial artery treated with TEVAR after several embolization attempts. In-hospital mortality was 7.7%, significantly higher in the urgent setting (14% vs 1.9%, P = 0.001). Urgent procedures were also more frequently associated with major adverse clinical events (7.4% vs 26%, P = 0.0003) and specifically with paraplegia (2.8% vs 10%, P = 0.043). Perioperative mortality was significantly higher in the ruptured group compared to the symptomatic group (25.6% vs 2.3%, P = 0.002). When the analysis was conducted to compare the symptomatic and the asymptomatic patients, no differences in terms of perioperative mortality were detected.

Conclusions: TEVAR is an effective treatment strategy in thoracic aortic disease. Though emergency repair of the ruptured thoracic aorta still shows high rates of perioperative mortality and morbidity, symptomatic non-ruptured and asymptomatic patients have comparable early outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ejcts/ezy482DOI Listing
July 2019

Fenestrated or branched endovascular aortic repair for postdissection thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm.

J Vasc Surg 2019 08 28;70(2):404-412. Epub 2019 Jan 28.

German Aortic Center Hamburg, Department of Vascular Medicine, University Heart Center of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany.

Objective: Fenestrated or branched endovascular aortic repair (FB-EVAR) usually represents the last stage in endovascular treatment of postdissection aneurysm after thoracic endograft coverage of entry tear and false lumen embolization.

Methods: The study was a retrospective analysis of all patients with postdissection thoracoabdominal aneurysm treated with FB-EVAR in a single center. Short-term outcomes included technical success, operative mortality, and morbidities. Midterm outcomes included secondary intervention, false lumen thrombosis rate, aneurysm size regression, and subsequent survival.

Results: Twenty patients (95% male with a mean age of 64 ± 9 years) were treated between January 2014 and December 2017. The technical success was 100%. There was one death (5%) within 30 days. Postoperative complications included two patients with spinal cord ischemia (10%; one partial and one full). The median follow-up period was 12 months (range, 0-31 months). A secondary intervention was required in six patients, including thoracic stent graft relining for type III endoleak (n = 2), covered stent relining for junctional leak between main body and renal stent (n = 2), and iliac false lumen embolization (n = 2). Twelve patients completed the 1-year follow-up computed tomography angiogram, and their mean aneurysm diameters were 71 ± 18, 66 ± 19, and 62 ± 19 mm preoperatively, immediate postoperatively, and at 1 year, respectively; the corresponding false lumen thrombosis rates were 0% (0/20), 58% (7/12), and 92% (11/12), respectively. One more patient died during follow-up from a non-aneurysm-related cause. The estimated overall survival rates were 95 ± 5%, 88 ± 8%, and 88 ± 8% at 6, 12, and 18 months, respectively.

Conclusions: FB-EVAR was feasible for postdissection thoracoabdominal aneurysm. Despite the associated perioperative risk and high probability of planned or unplanned reintervention, the procedure led to favorable aortic remodeling with false lumen thrombosis and aneurysm regression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2018.10.117DOI Listing
August 2019

Endovascular Repair of a Large Ilioiliac Fistula Using a Reversed Iliac Limb Endograft.

Ann Vasc Surg 2019 Apr 27;56:354.e11-354.e15. Epub 2018 Nov 27.

Department of Vascular Medicine, German Aortic Center Hamburg, University Heart Center, Hamburg, Germany.

Ilioiliac fistulae are a rare condition, for which diagnosis and treatment can be challenging. In this report, we describe the case of a 74-year-old patient with a high-flow fistula between the left common iliac artery and the ipsilateral common iliac vein presenting with heart failure. The fistula was probably iatrogenic, caused by prostatic surgery 1 year earlier. We describe imaging findings on computed tomography angiography and the treatment by 2 back-table reversed stent grafts. The satisfactory results demonstrated in our case and those in the literature suggest that an endovascular treatment for this rare condition should be considered as the first-line therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.avsg.2018.08.104DOI Listing
April 2019

Intentional Targeted False Lumen Occlusion after Aortic Dissection: A Systematic Review of the Literature.

Ann Vasc Surg 2019 Apr 26;56:317-329. Epub 2018 Nov 26.

German Aortic Center, Department of Vascular Medicine, University Heart Center, Hamburg, Germany.

Background: Residual patent false lumen (FL) after chronic type B aortic dissection (cTBAD) or type A aortic dissection (TAAD) treatment is independently associated with poor long-term outcomes. The aim of our study was to present endovascular techniques and the existing experience with targeted FL thrombosis after cTBAD or TAAD treatment.

Material And Methods: A systematic review was performed (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses) searching in MEDLINE, CENTRAL, and Cochrane databases for studies reporting on targeted FL occlusion after cTBAD or TAAD treatment.

Results: One hundred one patients either after open repair of a TAAD (n = 40; 3 case reports and 3 retrospective studies) or after cTBAD (n = 61; 13 case reports and 6 retrospective studies) underwent an endovascular procedure for intentional FL occlusion (2 studies reported on both procedures). Among TAAD patients, 27 of 40 (68%) had previous open repair, whereas 48 of 61 (79%) with cTBAD had a previous endovascular repair. Thirty-one (78%) patients with TAAD and fifty-one (83%) with cTBAD were treated electively. Four main techniques were used: (1) the candy-plug (19/101), (2) the knickerbocker (3/91), (3) the "cork in the bottle neck" technique (2/101), and (4) FL embolization with combined use of coils, onyx, plugs, and glue (77/101). The technical success rate was 100%, with a 30-day mortality rate of 2.5% (1/40) in TAAD and 0% in cTBAD patients. During follow-up (ranging: 2 to 63 months), the mortality rate was 0% (0/31) and 7.1% (4/61) in TAAD and cTBAD patients, respectively. The FL remained completely thrombosed in 78% (31/40) of TAAD and 62% (38/61) of cTBAD patients, whereas it was partially thrombosed in 3 and 2 patients, respectively (no report for 22 patients).

Conclusions: Intentional FL occlusion seems to be a feasible less invasive approach after cTBAD or TAAD treatment, which is not broadly used. Future larger studies with longer follow-up duration may demonstrate the apparent benefit in terms of aortic remodeling or stabilization of the disease progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.avsg.2018.08.086DOI Listing
April 2019

Single-center experience with an inner branched arch endograft.

J Vasc Surg 2019 04 23;69(4):977-985.e1. Epub 2018 Nov 23.

Department of Vascular Medicine, German Aortic Center, University Heart Center, Hamburg, Germany.

Objective: Whereas open repair is the "gold standard" for most aortic arch diseases, a subgroup of patients might benefit from an endovascular approach. The introduction of branched stent grafts with dedicated design to address the challenges of the ascending aorta and the aortic arch has opened an entirely new area of treatment for these patients. We investigated the early outcomes of branched thoracic endovascular aortic repair (b-TEVAR) in various types of disease of the aortic arch.

Methods: A retrospective analysis was conducted of prospectively collected data from a single center of all consecutive patients treated with b-TEVAR. The indication for elective endovascular repair was consented in an interdisciplinary case conference. All patients were treated with a custom-made inner branched arch endograft with two internal branches (Cook Medical, Bloomington, Ind) and left-sided carotid-subclavian bypass. Study end points were technical success, 30-day mortality, and complications as well as late complications and reinterventions.

Results: Between 2012 and 2017, there were 54 patients (38 male; median age, 71 years) treated with diseases of the aortic arch. Indications for therapy involved degenerative aortic arch or proximal descending aortic aneurysms requiring arch repair (n = 24), dissection with or without false lumen aneurysms (n = 26), and penetrating aortic ulcers (n = 4). Forty-three cases (80%) were performed electively and 11 urgently for contained ruptures (n = 3) or symptomatic aneurysms (n = 8) with endografts already available for the patient or with grafts of other patients with similar anatomy. Technical success was achieved in 53 cases (98%). The 30-day mortality and major stroke incidence were 5.5% (3/54) and 5.5% (3/54), respectively; in-hospital mortality was 7.4% (n = 4), and minor strokes (including asymptomatic new cerebral lesions) occurred in 5.5% (n = 3). There were two cases of transient spinal cord ischemia with complete recovery and one of paraplegia. No retrograde type A dissections or cardiac injuries were observed. Three early stent graft-related reinterventions were necessary to correct proximal endograft kinking with type IA endoleak in one patient, a bridging stent graft stenosis in another patient, and false lumen persistent perfusion from dissected supra-aortic vessels in the last patient. Mean in-hospital stay was 14 ± 8 days. During a mean follow-up of 12 ± 9 months, three nonaorta-related deaths and one aorta-related death distal to the arch repair were observed.

Conclusions: Treatment of aortic arch diseases with b-TEVAR is feasible and safe with acceptable mortality and stroke rates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2018.07.076DOI Listing
April 2019
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