Publications by authors named "Igor Koncar"

116 Publications

Hybrid repair of aortic arch with zone zero endografting-Case series with review of the literature.

J Card Surg 2021 Jul 15. Epub 2021 Jul 15.

Clinic for Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Clinical Center of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia.

Introduction: We present single-institution results of types I and II hybrid procedures for aortic arch disease with 30-day and long-term results and review of the literature.

Materials And Methods: This is a retrospective study of all patients that underwent zone 0 endografting and open bypass from ascending aorta to the arch vessels at our institution between January 2013 and 2020. The following data for the systematic review were extracted from eligible studies: 30-day/in-hospital mortality, stroke rate, spinal cord ischemia (SCI) rate, renal failure requiring dialysis, development of retrograde dissection, early (<30 days) types I and III endoleak, follow-up length, late (>30 days) endoleak, and late (>30 days) mortality.

Results: Twelve patients underwent hybrid aortic arch treatment in our institution. The most common aortic arch pathology was degenerative aortic aneurysm. The rate of retrograde dissection and SCI was 8.33%. Regarding the literature data, a total of 768 patients undergoing types I and II hybrid aortic arch debranching procedure. The pooled rate of 30-day/in-hospital mortality was 10.96% (95% confidence interval [CI], 8.21-14.06), SCI pooled rate was 2.91% (95% CI, 1.76%-4.33%), and retrograde dissection pooled rate was 3.22% (95% CI, 1.99-4.72).

Conclusion: Hybrid arch techniques provide safe alternative to open repair with acceptable short- and midterm results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jocs.15811DOI Listing
July 2021

Influence of perioperative risk factors on the development of transmural colonic ischemia after open repair of ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm.

J Cardiovasc Surg (Torino) 2021 Jul 8. Epub 2021 Jul 8.

School of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia.

Background: Development of colonic ischemia (CI) after ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm (RAAA) treatment is a lethal complication with perioperative mortality reported to be high as 50%. Therefore, the main goal of this study was to identify pre-, intra- and postoperative risk factors associated with CI in patients undergoing open repair (OR) due to RAAA, that might help to select patients who are more prone to develop CI.

Methods: This was a single-center prospective cohort study on patients with RAAA undergoing OR between January 1st 2018 and July 1st 2019, at the Clinic for Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Clinical Center of Serbia. During this period 89 patients were treated due to RAAA and all were included in the study. The primary endpoint was grade III CI, or transmural necrosis, diagnosed by laparotomy.

Results: Out of 89 patients operated due to RAAA, CI was diagnosed in 14 (15.73%). During the operation, patients with CI had a longer duration of hypotension (42.86±35.82 vs 24.13±23.48, p=.021) and more common significant hypotension (54.54% vs 14.66%, p=.024). In the postoperative course, patients with CI had more common signs of abdominal compartment syndrome (71.42% vs 25.33%, p=.001) and higher mortality rate (78.57% vs 29.33%, p=.001). The univariate regression model showed that one of the most significant factors that were associated with CI were age higher than 75 years, significant hypotension lasting more than one hour, organ lesion, development of abdominal compartment syndrome and higher potassium values on third and fourth quartile.

Conclusions: Grade III colon ischemia (transmural) remains the important cause of mortality after ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm repair. We identified pre- and intraoperative and postoperative risk factors that could improve the selection of patients for primary open abdomen treatment or early exploratory laparotomy in order to prevent or timely diagnose colon ischemia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.23736/S0021-9509.21.11861-0DOI Listing
July 2021

Thoracic endovascular aortic repair practice in 13 countries: A report from VASCUNET and the International Consortium of Vascular Registries.

Ann Surg 2020 Nov 17. Epub 2020 Nov 17.

Department of Surgical Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.

Objective: To assess practice patterns and short-term outcome after TEVAR, based on an international vascular registry collaboration.

Summary Background Data: Thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) has become the primary surgical treatment modality for descending aortic pathologies, and has expanded to new patient cohorts, including the elderly.

Methods: Data on thoracic aortic aneurysms (TAA), type B aortic dissections (TBAD), and traumatic aortic injuries (TAI) treated with TEVAR from 2012 to 2016 were retrieved from registries and centers in 13 countries.

Results: 9518 TEVAR for TAA (n = 4436), TBAD (n = 3976) and TAI (n = 1106) were included. The distribution of TEVAR procedures per pathology varied, with TAA repair constituting from 40% of TEVARs in the US to 72% in the UK (p < 0.001).Mean intact TAA (iTAA) diameter varied from 59 (US) to 69 mm (Nancy, France) (p < 0.001), 25.3% of patients having a diameter of < 60 mm. Perioperative mortality after iTAA repair was 4.9%; combined mortality, stroke, paraplegia and RRT outcome was 12.8%. 18.6% of iTAA patients were ≥80 years old. Mortality was higher in this group (7.2%) than in patients < 80 (3.8%) (p < 0.001). After rTAA repair, perioperative mortality was 26.8%.Mortality was 9.7% after acute (within 14 days from onset of dissection) and 3.0% after chronic TBAD repair (p < 0.001). Mortality after TAI was 7.8%, and depended on injury severity (grade IV (free rupture) 20.9%).

Conclusions:: This registry collaboration provides a unique platform to evaluate cross-border patterns of use and outcomes of TEVAR. A common core dataset is proposed, to achieve harmonization of registry-based quality outcome measures for TEVAR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/SLA.0000000000004561DOI Listing
November 2020

Open Vascular Surgery Education: Need for the Second Step.

Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg 2021 01 14;61(1):155-156. Epub 2020 Nov 14.

Clinic for Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Clinical Centre of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejvs.2020.10.011DOI Listing
January 2021

A deep learning oriented method for automated 3D reconstruction of carotid arterial trees from MR imaging.

Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc 2020 07;2020:2408-2411

The scope of this paper is to present a new carotid vessel segmentation algorithm implementing the U-net based convolutional neural network architecture. With carotid atherosclerosis being the major cause of stroke in Europe, new methods that can provide more accurate image segmentation of the carotid arterial tree and plaque tissue can help improve early diagnosis, prevention and treatment of carotid disease. Herein, we present a novel methodology combining the U-net model and morphological active contours in an iterative framework that accurately segments the carotid lumen and outer wall. The method automatically produces a 3D meshed model of the carotid bifurcation and smaller branches, using multispectral MR image series obtained from two clinical centres of the TAXINOMISIS study. As indicated by a validation study, the algorithm succeeds high accuracy (99.1% for lumen area and 92.6% for the perimeter) for lumen segmentation. The proposed algorithm will be used in the TAXINOMISIS study to obtain more accurate 3D vessel models for improved computational fluid dynamics simulations and the development of models of atherosclerotic plaque progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/EMBC44109.2020.9176532DOI Listing
July 2020

The TAXINOMISIS Project: A multidisciplinary approach for the development of a new risk stratification model for patients with asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis.

Eur J Clin Invest 2020 Dec 2;50(12):e13411. Epub 2020 Oct 2.

Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Unit of Medical Technology and Intelligent Information Systems, University of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece.

Introduction: Asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis (ACAS) may cause future stroke and therefore patients with ACAS require best medical treatment. Patients at high risk for stroke may opt for additional revascularization (either surgery or stenting) but the future stroke risk should outweigh the risk for peri/post-operative stroke/death. Current risk stratification for patients with ACAS is largely based on outdated randomized-controlled trials that lack the integration of improved medical therapies and risk factor control. Furthermore, recent circulating and imaging biomarkers for stroke have never been included in a risk stratification model. The TAXINOMISIS Project aims to develop a new risk stratification model for cerebrovascular complications in patients with ACAS and this will be tested through a prospective observational multicentre clinical trial performed in six major European vascular surgery centres.

Methods And Analysis: The risk stratification model will compromise clinical, circulating, plaque and imaging biomarkers. The prospective multicentre observational study will include 300 patients with 50%-99% ACAS. The primary endpoint is the three-year incidence of cerebrovascular complications. Biomarkers will be retrieved from plasma samples, brain MRI, carotid MRA and duplex ultrasound. The TAXINOMISIS Project will serve as a platform for the development of new computer tools that assess plaque progression based on radiology images and a lab-on-chip with genetic variants that could predict medication response in individual patients.

Conclusion: Results from the TAXINOMISIS study could potentially improve future risk stratification in patients with ACAS to assist personalized evidence-based treatment decision-making.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/eci.13411DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7757200PMC
December 2020

Predictors of in-hospital mortality and complications in acute aortic occlusion: a comparative analysis of patients with embolism and in-situ thrombosis.

J Cardiovasc Surg (Torino) 2021 Apr 4;62(2):146-152. Epub 2020 Sep 4.

Clinic for Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Clinical Center of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia.

Background: Acute aortic occlusion (AAO) represents potentially fatal acute vascular emergency that requires prompt diagnosis and intervention. Clinical condition of patients with AAO is frequently severely devastated when surgical intervention is questionable. Our objective was to retrospectively review our institutional experience with AAO and assess predictors of intrahospital mortality and morbidity.

Methods: This is a retrospective single-center cohort study with prospectively collected data between January 1, 2005 and January 1, 2018. The total number of 28 consecutive patients with AAO were included in our analysis. Patients with acute aortic thrombosis manifested by bilateral acute limb ischemia were divided in two groups based on potential caues of AAO (embolism or in-situ thrombosis) differentiated according to condition of aortoilical segment.

Results: We identified 28 patients with AAO. All of them underwent either aortobifemoral bypass (N.=20, 71%) or bilateral trans-femoral thrombectomy (N.=8, 29%). The overall in-hospital mortality was 36%. Factors that influenced in-hospital mortality were: paralysis (OR=4.41, 95% CI: 1.88-21.78) and higher lactate values on admission (OR=1.23, 95% CI: 1.09-1.83), postoperative development of severe acute kidney injury (OR=3.08, 95% CI: 1.42-14.66), hemodialysis (OR=10.74, 95% CI: 1.64-109.78) and bowel ischemia (OR=5.19, 95% CI: 1.58-55.63).

Conclusions: Paralysis, higher lactate values, development of acute kidney injury, hemodialysis and bowel ischemia are predictors of worse outcome and may be used for risk stratification of patients with acute aortic occlusion and improve counseling patients and their families about expected postoperative outcomes. Patients with embolism and malignant disease have worse outcome; however, this should be tested in future studies on larger sample.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.23736/S0021-9509.20.11247-3DOI Listing
April 2021

Influence of preoperative statins and aspirin administration on biological and magnetic resonance imaging properties in patients with abdominal aortic aneurysm.

Vasa 2021 Feb 16;50(2):116-124. Epub 2020 Jul 16.

School of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Serbia.

: Main objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of statins and/or acetylsalicylic acid on biochemical characteristics of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) wall and intraluminal thrombus (ILT). : Fifty patients with asymptomatic infrarenal AAA were analyzed using magnetic resonance imaging on T1w sequence. Relative ILT signal intensity (SI) was determined as a ratio between ILT and psoas muscle SI. Samples containing the full ILT thickness and aneurysm wall were harvested from the anterior surface at the level of the maximal diameter. The concentration of enzymes such as matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) 9, MMP2 and neutrophil elastase (NE/ELA) were analyzed in ILT and AAA wall; while collagen type III, elastin and proteoglycan 4 were analyzed in harvested AAA wall. Oxidative stress in the AAA wall was assessed by catalase and malondialdehyde activity in tissue samples. : Relative ILT signal intensity (1.09 ± 0.41 vs 0.89 ± 0.21, p = 0.013) were higher in non-statin than in statin group. Patients who were taking aspirin had lower relative ILT area (0.89 ± 0.19 vs 1.13. ± 0.44, p = 0.016), and lower relative ILT signal intensity (0.85 [0.73-1.07] vs 1.01 [0.84-1.19], p = 0.021) compared to non-aspirin group. There were higher concentrations of elastin in AAA wall among patients taking both of aspirin and statins (1.21 [0.77-3.02] vs 0.78 (0.49-1.05) ng/ml, p = 0.044) than in patients who did not take both of these drugs. : Relative ILT SI was lower in patients taking statin and aspirin. Combination of antiplatelet therapy and statins was associated with higher elastin concentrations in AAA wall.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1024/0301-1526/a000895DOI Listing
February 2021

Long-term Durability and Safety of Carotid Endarterectomy Closure Techniques.

World J Surg 2020 10;44(10):3545-3554

Vascular Surgery Department, University Hospital of Larissa, Faculty of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, University of Thessaly, 41110, Larissa, Greece.

Background: Various techniques have been used for the execution of carotid endarterectomy; primary (PC), patch closure (CP) and eversion technique (ET).The superiority of any of them is still unproven. The aim of this study was to compare the long-term outcomes of each technique in terms of cerebrovascular event (CVE), restenosis, survival and major cardiac event (MACE).

Methods: Between 2007 and 2018, a retrospective analysis of prospectively recorded data from three European tertiary centers was undertaken including 1.357 patients. Demographics, comorbidities and medical treatment were analyzed in relation to long-term outcomes. Freedom from CVE, restenosis (> 70%), survival and MACE were estimated with Kaplan-Meier analysis curve.

Results: The mean age was 69.5 ± 8 (72% males;79% asymptomatic). 472 (35%) were treated with PC, 504 (37%) with CP and 381 (28%) with ET. Differences among groups were observed in age (P < 0.001), gender (P < 0.01), hypertension (P = 0.01), dyslipidemia (P < 0.001) and statin treatment (P < 0.001). The mean follow-up was 4.7 ± 3 years (median: 5 years). Seventy-three patients presented a CVE during 8 years of follow-up. The freedom from CVE including all techniques was 96% (SE 0.6%), 93% (SE 1%) and 89% (SE 1.6%), at 2, 5 and 8 years of follow-up, respectively, with no difference between groups (P .289). Freedom from restenosis was at 96% (SE 0.7%) and 89% (SE 5%) at 5 and 10 years, respectively, for all methods without differences. ET was associated with a higher mortality rate (P < 0.001) and MACE rate (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Excellent outcomes were achieved with all types of closure techniques with low rates of MACE and other adverse events during long-term follow-up after CEA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00268-020-05604-0DOI Listing
October 2020

Besides complicated and uncomplicated dissections, do we face "potentially complicated" dissections?

J Vasc Surg 2020 05;71(5):1817

Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia; Clinic for Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Clinical Center of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2019.12.022DOI Listing
May 2020

Early and long-term results of open repair of inflammatory abdominal aortic aneurysms: Comparison with a propensity score-matched cohort.

J Vasc Surg 2020 09 2;72(3):910-917. Epub 2020 Mar 2.

Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia; Clinic for Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Clinical Center of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia.

Objective: The aim of our study was to compare early and long-term results of open repair of patients with inflammatory abdominal aortic aneurysm (IAAA) with matched cohort of patients with abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA).

Methods: This retrospective single-center cohort study used prospectively collected data from an institutional registry from 1786 patients between 2009 and 2015. Patients with IAAA and AAA were matched by propensity score analysis controlling for demographics, baseline comorbidities, and AAA parameters in a 1:2 ratio. Patients were followed for 5 years.

Results: There were 76 patients with IAAA and 152 patients with AAA. Patients with IAAA had more common intraoperative lesion of intraabdominal organs (P = .04), longer in-hospital (P = .035) and intensive care (P = .048) stays and a higher in-hospital mortality rate (P = .012). There were four patients (5.26%) with in-hospital lethal outcome in IAAA there were no deaths in the AAA group. During the follow-up, there was no difference in survival (χ = 0.07; DF = 1; P = .80) and overall aortic related complications (χ = 1.25; DF = 1; P = .26); however, aortic graft infection was more frequent in IAAA group (P = .04).

Conclusions: Open repair of IAAA is challenging and comparing to AAA carries a higher perioperative risk and long-term infection rate, even in high-volume centers. The main causes of complications are intraoperative injury of adjacent organs, bleeding, and coronary events. Patients with AAA in a matched cohort showed equal long-term survival, which should be assessed in bigger registries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2019.11.040DOI Listing
September 2020

The role of fEVAR, chEVAR and open repair in treatment of juxtarenal aneurysms: a systematic review.

J Cardiovasc Surg (Torino) 2020 Feb;61(1):24-36

Clinic for Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Serbian Clinical Center, Belgrade, Serbia.

Introduction: Open repair (OR), fenestrated endovascular aneurysm repair (fEVAR) and endovascular exclusion using parallel graft (chEVAR) are complementary procedures used for treatment of juxtarenal abdominal aortic aneurysm (jrAAA). The aim of our study was to assess available literature and analyze dispersion of OR, fEVAR and chEVAR procedures among reported papers related to treatment of jrAAA.

Evidence Acquisition: The PubMed database was systematically searched using predefined strategy and key words related to treatment of jrAAA on September 28th, 2019. Studies were assessed for eligibility using the inclusion and exclusion criteria with at least five patients treated with at least one of the procedures while systematic reviews, meta-analysis, reviews, comments, editorials and letters were excluded as well as studies without clear classification of the location of the aneurysm, studies not specifying the number of patients treated with each of the techniques or not discriminated between aortic pathologies (juxtarenal, paravisceral and thoracoabdominal), hybrid procedures, endoanchors or with branched stent-graft.

Evidence Synthesis: Overall, 1533 papers were identified while papers that met inclusion criteria were either representing experience of single institution (87 papers) or from multicenter studies (6 papers), national or international registries (18 papers). In the period between January 1977 and December 2017, treatment of 5664 patients with jrAAA was reported in 87 papers as a single institution report. Out of them 2531 (45%) were treated with OR, 2592 (46%) with fEVAR and 541 (9%) with chEVAR. Out of 29 institutions reporting OR, there were 11 (37.9%) with more than 100 treated patients while 21 (41.1%) out of 51 institutions that reported more than 50 jrAAA treated with fEVAR. Only four institutions reported results of all three treatment modalities.

Conclusions: Based on the results reported in the literature, regardless of its complexity and costs, fEVAR for jrAAA has been accepted in substantial number of hospitals worldwide, while number of reported procedures is reaching OR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.23736/S0021-9509.19.11187-1DOI Listing
February 2020

Magnetic resonance imaging assessment of proteolytic enzyme concentrations and biologic properties of intraluminal thrombus in abdominal aortic aneurysms.

J Vasc Surg 2020 09 14;72(3):1025-1034. Epub 2020 Feb 14.

School of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia; Clinic for Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Clinical Center of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia.

Objective: The aim of the study was to determine whether magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used in assessment of biologic activity of intraluminal thrombus (ILT) and proteolytic processes of the abdominal aortic aneurysm wall.

Methods: Using MRI, 50 patients with asymptomatic infrarenal abdominal aortic aneurysm were analyzed at the maximum aneurysm diameter on T1-weighted images in the arterial phase after administration of contrast material. Relative ILT signal intensity (SI) was determined as the ratio between ILT SI and psoas muscle SI. During surgery, the full thickness of the ILT and the adjacent part of the aneurysm wall were harvested at the maximal diameter for biochemical analysis. The concentrations of matrix metalloproteinase 9 and neutrophil elastase (NE/ELA) were analyzed in harvested thrombi, and the concentrations of collagen type III, elastin, and proteoglycans were analyzed in harvested aneurysm walls.

Results: A significant positive correlation was found between the NE/ELA concentration of the ILT and the relative SI (ρ = 0.309; P = .029). Furthermore, a negative correlation was observed between the elastin content of the aneurysm wall and the relative SI (ρ = -0.300; P = .034). No correlations were found between relative SI and concentration of matrix metalloproteinase 9, NE/ELA, collagen type III, or proteoglycan 4 in the aneurysm wall.

Conclusions: These findings indicate a potential novel use of MRI in prediction of thrombus proteolytic enzyme concentrations and the extracellular matrix content of the aneurysm wall, thus providing additional information for the risk of potential aneurysm rupture.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2019.11.032DOI Listing
September 2020

Morphology and Computational Fluid Dynamics Support a Novel Classification of Common Iliac Aneurysms.

Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg 2020 May 22;59(5):786-793. Epub 2020 Jan 22.

Vascular Engineering Laboratory, Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, QEII Medical Centre, Nedlands and Centre for Medical Research, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia; School of Engineering, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia; Australian Research Council Centre for Personalised Therapeutics Technologies, Australia; BHF Centre for Cardiovascular Science, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK. Electronic address:

Objective: Isolated common iliac artery aneurysms (CIAAs) are uncommon, and evidence concerning their development, progression, and management is weak. The objective was to describe the morphology and haemodynamics of isolated CIAAs in a retrospective study.

Methods: Initially, a series of 25 isolated CIAAs (15 intact, 10 ruptured) in 23 patients were gathered from multiple centres, reconstructed from computed tomography, and then morphologically classified and analysed with computational fluid dynamics. The morphological classification was applied in a separate, consecutive cohort of 162 patients assessed for elective aorto-iliac intervention, in which 55 patients had intact CIAAs.

Results: In the isolated CIAA cohort, three distinct morphologies were identified: complex (involving a bifurcation); fusiform; and kinked (distal to a sharp bend in the CIA), with mean diameters of 90.3, 48.3, and 31.7 mm, and mean time averaged wall shear stresses of 0.16, 0.31, and 0.71 Pa, respectively (both analysis of variance p values < .001). Kinked cases vs. fusiform cases had less thrombus and favourable haemodynamics similar to the non-aneurysmal contralateral common iliac artery (CIA). Ruptured isolated CIAAs were large (mean diameter 87.5 mm, range 55.5-138.0 mm) and predominantly complex. The mean CIA length for aneurysmal arteries was greatest in kinked cases followed by complex and fusiform (100.8 mm, 91.1 mm, and 80.6 mm, respectively). The morphological classification was readily applicable to a separate elective patient cohort.

Conclusion: A new morphological categorisation of CIAAs is proposed. Potentially this is associated with both haemodynamics and clinical course. Further research is required to determine whether the kinked CIAA is protected haemodynamically from aneurysm progression and to establish the wider applicability of the categorisation presented.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejvs.2019.11.035DOI Listing
May 2020

Effect of Intra-operative Intra-arterial Thrombolysis on Long Term Clinical Outcomes in Patients with Acute Popliteal Artery Aneurysm Thrombosis.

Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg 2020 02 6;59(2):255-264. Epub 2020 Jan 6.

Clinic for Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Clinical Centre of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia; Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia.

Objective: Acute lower limb ischaemia (ALI) as a result of popliteal artery aneurysm (PAA) thrombosis represents a significant problem. The aim of this study was to investigate outcome of intra-operative intra-arterial thrombolysis in the treatment of acute ischaemia due to PAA thrombosis in terms of major adverse limb events (MALE), overall survival, and intrahospital complications, especially those associated with bleeding.

Methods: A total of 156 patients with Rutherford grade IIa and IIb acute ischaemia resulting from PAA thrombosis were admitted between 1 January 2011 and 1 January 2017. The patients were divided into two groups, those who underwent additional treatment with intra-operative intra-arterial thrombolysis (20 patients), and those who did not (136 patients). By using covariables from baseline and angiographic characteristics, a propensity score was calculated for each patient. Each patient who underwent intra-operative thrombolysis was matched to four patients from the non-thrombolysis group. Thus, comparable patient cohorts (20 in the thrombolysis and 80 in the non-thrombolysis group) were identified for further analysis. The primary end point was MALE and the secondary endpoint all cause mortality.

Results: After a median follow up of 55 months, the estimated MALE rate was significantly lower in the thrombolysis group (30% vs. 65%, chi square = 10.86, p < .001, log rank test). Also, patients in the thrombolysis group had a significantly lower mortality rate (20% vs. 42.65%, chi square = 3.65, p = .05, log rank test). The thrombolysis group had wound/haematoma related interventions performed more commonly (25% in thrombolysis vs 8%, in non-thrombolysis group), but the difference was not significant (p=.013). There were no cases of major (intracranial and gastrointestinal) bleeding in either group.

Conclusion: The data suggest that intra-operative thrombolysis in the treatment of selected patients with ALI due to PAA thrombosis has long term MALE and overall survival benefits, without a significant risk of major, life threatening bleeding complications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejvs.2019.10.013DOI Listing
February 2020

Late open conversion after endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm repair: experience of three-high volume centers.

J Cardiovasc Surg (Torino) 2020 04 18;61(2):183-190. Epub 2019 Nov 18.

Unit of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, San Martino University Hospital IRCCS, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy.

Background: Accumulated endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) procedures will increase number of patients requiring conversion to open repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA). In most cases, patients undergo late open surgical conversion (LOSC), many months, or years, after initial EVAR. The aim of this study is to analyze results of LOSC after EVAR in elective and urgent setting, including presenting features, surgical techniques, as well as to review the clinical outcomes and their predictors.

Methods: Retrospective review of all consecutive patients undergoing LOSC after EVAR was performed at three distinct, high volume, vascular centers. Patients that required primary conversion within 30 days after EVAR have not been included in this study. Between January 1st 2010 and January 1st 2017 total of 31 consecutive patients were treated. LOSC were performed either in elective or in urgent setting, thus dividing patients in two groups. Primary outcome was 30-day mortality and secondary postoperative complications.

Results: LOSC rate after EVAR was 4.51%. Most common indication for LOSC was type I endoleak (N.=20, 64.51%). All patients that presented with ruptured AAA had some form of endoleak (type I endoleak was present in five from six cases). Most common site for aortic cross-clamping was infrarenal (51.61%). Stent-graft was removed completely in 18 patients (58.06%) and partially in 13 (41.93%). 30-day mortality rate was 16.12% (5 patients) and most common cause of death was myocardial infarction (60%). Following univariate factors were isolated as predictors for 30-day mortality: preoperative coronary artery disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, urgent LOSC, prolonged time until LOSC, ruptured AAA, supraceliac clamp, higher number of red blood cell transfusion, postoperative myocardial infarction, and prolonged intubation (more than 48 hours).

Conclusions: LOSC seems to be safe and effective procedure when preformed in elective manner. On the other side, urgent LOSC after EVAR is associated with very high postoperative mortality and morbidity. Endoleak remains the main indication for open conversion. Further studies are necessary to standardize timing and treatment options for failing EVAR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.23736/S0021-9509.19.10972-XDOI Listing
April 2020

Endovascular treatment of different types of iliac occlusions-Results from an observational study.

PLoS One 2019 2;14(10):e0222893. Epub 2019 Oct 2.

School of Medicine, Belgrade University, Belgrade, Serbia.

Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the results of endovascular therapy on the treatment of different types of iliac occlusions.

Materials And Methods: A bi-center prospective, non-randomized study was conducted on 100 patients (mean age 59.14 ± 8.53; 64 men) who underwent endovascular treatment of iliac occlusive disease between January 2013 and November 2017. We evaluated baseline data, procedure, and follow-up results for the entire group, and according to Trans-Atlantic Inter-Society Consensus (TASC II) classification. The majority of patients (60%) were treated for severe claudication; 56 (56%) patients had TASC B occlusions, 28 patients TASC C, and 16 patients TASC D.

Results: The mean length of the occluded segments was 61.41 ± 35.15 mm. Procedural complications developed in 6 patients (6%). Mean ankle-brachial pressure index increased from 0.40 ± 0.12 preoperatively to 0.82 ± 0.16 postoperatively. The mean follow-up was 33.18 ± 15.03 months. After 1 and 5 years, the primary patency rates were 98% and 75.1%, and the secondary patency rate was 97% respectively. Regarding occlusion complexity there were no statistical significant differences in primary patency rates (TASC B vs. C vs. D: p = 0.19). There were no statistically significant differences in primary patency rates between patients in different clinical stages, as well as between the type of stents, and location of the occlusion.

Conclusion: In our study, endovascular treatment for iliac artery occlusions proved to be a safe and efficient approach with excellent primary and secondary patency rates regardless of the complexity of occlusions defined by TASC II classification. This study is aligned with the notion that in well selected patients, endovascular therapy can be the treatment of choice even in complex iliac lesions if performed by experienced endovascular interventionists in high volume centers.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0222893PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6774573PMC
March 2020

Achieving Consensus to Define Curricular Content for Simulation Based Education in Vascular Surgery: A Europe Wide Needs Assessment Initiative.

Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg 2019 Aug 21;58(2):284-291. Epub 2019 Jun 21.

Copenhagen Academy for Medical Education and Simulation, The University of Copenhagen and the Capital Region of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark; Department of Vascular Surgery, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Objective: To gather consensus among European educators about technical procedures that should be included in a future simulation based curriculum in vascular surgery.

Methods: A three round modified Delphi survey was initiated among 189 key opinion leaders (KOL) from 34 countries across Europe who were identified according to their positions in the European Society for Vascular Surgery, the European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, and Union Européenne des Médecins Spécialistes Section and Board of Vascular Surgery. The first round was a brainstorming phase to identify technical procedures that a newly qualified vascular surgeon should be able to perform. The answers were analysed qualitatively. The second round investigated how often the identified procedures are performed, the number of vascular surgeons that should be able to perform these procedures, whether the procedures pose a risk to the patients, and whether simulation based education (SBE) is feasible. In the third round, elimination and re-ranking of procedures were performed. Only procedures that gained more than 70% support were included. An international steering group consisting of open and endovascular surgeons and medical educators governed the process.

Results: Response rates in the three rounds were 75% (142/189), 89% (126/142), and 85% (107/126), respectively. In the final prioritised list of 30 technical procedures for SBE, the top five procedures focus on basic open vascular skills, basic endovascular skills, vascular imaging interpretation, femoral endarterectomy, and open peripheral bypass. Twenty-six procedures were eliminated, including peripheral pressure measurement, wound management, open management of complications, major amputations, and highly advanced endovascular skills.

Conclusion: The prioritised list of technical procedures from this ESVS supported project could be used to guide planning and development of future SBE programs to meet the needs of vascular surgeons across Europe.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejvs.2019.03.022DOI Listing
August 2019

PHACTR1 haplotypes are associated with carotid plaque presence and affect PHACTR1 mRNA expression in carotid plaque tissue.

Gene 2019 Aug 12;710:273-278. Epub 2019 Jun 12.

Vinca Institute of Nuclear Sciences, Laboratory for Radiobiology and Molecular Genetics, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia. Electronic address:

Background: Carotid plaque is a hallmark of advanced carotid atherosclerosis and there is evidence of phosphatase and actin regulator 1 (PHACTR1) involvement in the processes that lead to atherosclerosis. PHACTR1 intronic variants have been associated with coronary artery disease and carotid dissection. Up to date the PHACTR1 haplotypes were not investigated in association with carotid plaque presence (CPP). So, the aims of this study were to investigate possible association of PHACTR1 haplotypes inferred from the intronic variants rs9349379, rs2026458 and rs2876300 with CPP in patients with advanced carotid atherosclerosis and to analyze their possible effect on PHACTR1 relative mRNA expression in carotid plaque tissue specimens.

Methods: The study group consisted of 501 patients with evidence of carotid plaque presence admitted for carotid endarterectomy and 310 healthy controls. PHACTR1 rs9349379, rs2026458, rs2876300 and relative mRNA expression were detected by TaqMan® technology.

Results: We have found significant and independent association of haplotype ACA with the CPP, compared to the referent haplotype GTA (adjusted OR = 1.54 95% CI = 1.07-2.21, p = 0.02). The OR was adjusted for gender, age, BMI, hypertension and total cholesterol. The relative expression of PHACTR1 mRNA in carotid plaque tissue proved to be significantly higher in carriers of the ACG haplotype compared to the referent haplotype GTA (p = 0.03).

Conclusion: Our results suggest that PHACTR1 haplotypes inferred from the variants rs9349379, rs2026458 and rs2876300 affect PHACTR1 mRNA and bear the risk for CPP in patients with advanced carotid atherosclerosis. Further replication and validation studies are inevitable.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gene.2019.06.020DOI Listing
August 2019

Single center experience in the management of a case series of subclavian artery aneurysms.

Asian J Surg 2020 Jan 18;43(1):139-147. Epub 2019 May 18.

Clinic for Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Clinical Center of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia.

Objective: Subclavian artery aneurysms (SAAs) are rare, but they may cause life- and limb-threatening complications.

Methods: Retrospective review was performed of all SAA patients that underwent treatment at the Clinic for Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Clinical Center of Serbia, Belgrade between January 1st 2006 and January 1st 2018. The paper includes analysis of etiology and therapeutic options based on the experience from our institution.

Results: Twenty (80%) of SAAs involved extrathoracic (ET), while five (20%) intrathoracic (IT) segment. Out of total five IT SAAs, two were asymptomatic (40%), one had dyspnea (20%), while two (40%) had hematothorax due to rupture. Seven (35%) patients with ET SAA had shoulder pain and pulsatile mass, five (25%) acute, seven (35%) had chronic limb ischemia, while one was asymptomatic (5%). Two IT SAAs were treated with open surgery (OS). Other three cases underwent hybrid procedure. One case with ET SAA was treated endovascularly due to hostile anatomy, while in all other 19 cases of ET SAAs open repair was performed, which included: graft interposition in 10 (52.63%), end-to-end anastomosis in 7 (36.84%) cases, while bypass procedure in 2 (10.52%) patients. One of our patients (4%) died during the first 30 postoperative days.

Conclusions: SAAs are rare, however because of their natural history they have huge clinical significance. OS is the method of choice in cases of ET SAAs caused by TOS. Endovascular and hybrid treatment decrease significantly perioperative morbidity and mortality rates in cases of intrathoracic SAAs and thus should be the first option.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.asjsur.2019.04.012DOI Listing
January 2020

Morphology and Hemodynamics in Isolated Common Iliac Artery Aneurysms Impacts Proximal Aortic Remodeling.

Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2019 06;39(6):1125-1136

From the Vascular Engineering Laboratory, Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, QEII Medical Centre, Nedlands and Centre for Medical Research (L.P.P., L.J.K., B.L., P.E.N., B.J.D.), The University of Western Australia, Perth.

Objective- Isolated common iliac artery aneurysms (CIAA) are rare. Their prognosis and influence on aortoiliac blood flow and remodeling are unclear. We evaluated the hypotheses that morphology at and distal to the aortic bifurcation, together with the associated hemodynamic changes, influence both the natural history of CIAA and proximal aortic remodeling. Approach and Results- Twenty-five isolated CIAAs (15 intact, 10 ruptured), in 23 patients were reconstructed and analyzed with computational fluid dynamics: all showed abnormal flow. Then we studied a series of 24 hypothetical aortoiliac geometries in silico with varying abdominal aortic deflection and aortic bifurcation angles: key findings were assessed in an independent validation cohort of 162 patients. Wall shear stress in isolated unilateral CIAAs was lower than the contralateral common iliac artery, 0.38±0.33 Pa versus 0.61±0.24 Pa, inversely associated with CIAA diameter ( P<0.001) and morphology (high shear stress in variants distal to a sharp kink). Rupture usually occurred in regions of elevated low and oscillatory shear with a wide aortic bifurcation angle. Abdominal aortas deflected towards the CIAA for most unilateral isolated CIAAs (14/21). In silico, wider bifurcation angles created high focal regions of low and oscillatory shear in the common iliac artery. The associations of unilateral CIAA with aortic deflection and common iliac artery diameter with bifurcation angle were confirmed in the validation cohort. Conclusions- Decreasing wall shear stress is strongly associated with CIAA progression (larger aneurysms and rupture), whereas abnormal blood flow in the CIAA seems to promote proximal aortic remodeling, with adaptive lateral deflection of the abdominal aorta towards the aneurysmal side.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/ATVBAHA.119.312687DOI Listing
June 2019

Treatment of pediatric vascular injuries: the experience of a single non-pediatric referral center.

Int Angiol 2019 Jun 15;38(3):250-255. Epub 2019 Apr 15.

Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia.

Background: Pediatric peripheral vascular trauma carries significant risk of complications including limb loss and long-term invalidity. Mechanisms and types of morphological lesions are very diverse. The objectives of this study are to present the experience of a single vascular center in the surgical approach to pediatric vascular injuries, and to analyze the main challenges related to this clinical entity.

Methods: Over a period of 25 years, 17 pediatric peripheral vascular injuries were treated in our institution. Patient's age ranged between one day (newborn) and 15 years (mean: 10.7 years). There were five injuries of upper and 12 injuries of the lower extremity. Preoperative diagnosis was established by clinical examination (N.=4), ultrasonography (N.=1) and angiography (N.=12). Blunt trauma mainly caused arterial thrombosis while penetrating trauma caused arterial laceration or complete transection. Five patients had associated orthopedic injuries (29,4%). There were two posttraumatic pseudoaneurysms and two arterio-venous fistulas.

Results: There was no perioperative mortality. Vascular reconstructions included arterial suture (N.=4), thrombectomy + patch angioplasty (N.=1), termino-terminal anastomosis (N.=3), venous anatomic bypass (N.=6), PTFE graft reconstruction (N.=2), and venous extra-anatomic reconstruction (N.=1). Two patients had associated venous injury demanding both arterial and venous reconstruction. In the only case of war trauma treatment ended with limb loss. Other reconstructions presented good early and long-term patency.

Conclusions: Pediatric vascular injuries are extremely challenging issues. Treatment includes broad spectrum of different types of vascular reconstructions. It should be performed by vascular surgeon trained in open vascular treatment or pediatric surgeon with significant experience in vascular surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.23736/S0392-9590.19.04124-5DOI Listing
June 2019

Transesophageal Echocardiography-Guided Thrombectomy of Level IV Renal Cell Carcinoma without Cardiopulmonary Bypass.

Braz J Cardiovasc Surg 2019 Mar-Apr;34(2):229-232

Clinic for Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Clinical Center of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia.

Advanced renal cell carcinoma accompanied by tumor thrombus in the venous system is present in up to 10% of cases. Extension of tumor thrombus above the diaphragm or into the right atrium represents level IV disease. Level IV tumors are typically treated with sterno-laparotomy approach with or without deep hypothermic circulatory arrest and veno-venous bypass. In this case report, the surgical technique for the resection of advanced RCC were described, with the concomitant use of transesophageal echocardiography for thrombus extraction without the veno-venous or cardiopulmonary bypass.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21470/1678-9741-2018-0216DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6436781PMC
June 2019

An Isolated Aneurysm of the Abdominal Aorta in a Patient with Marfan Syndrome-A Case Report.

Ann Vasc Surg 2020 Feb 11;63:454.e1-454.e4. Epub 2019 Feb 11.

Clinic for Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Clinical Center of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia; School of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Serbia.

We present a case of successfully treated abdominal aortic aneurysm in a 24-year-old patient with Marfan syndrome. After initial physical and ultrasound examination, the multislice computed tomography (MSCT) scan revealed infrarenal aortic aneurysm of 6 cm in diameter, 10 cm long, along with slightly dilated iliac arteries. However, dimensions of aortic root, aortic arch, and descending suprarenal aorta were within normal limits. Further on, because the patient presented with signs of impending rupture, an urgent surgical intervention was performed. The patient was discharged in good general medical condition 7 days after surgery. After 6 months of follow-up, the patient's condition was satisfying and no MSCT signs of further aortic dissection/aneurysm were identified. To the best of our knowledge, a case of successful management of a patient with Marfans syndrome and truly isolated infrarenal and symptomatic abdominal aortic aneurysm has not been described in the literature before.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.avsg.2018.11.019DOI Listing
February 2020
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