Publications by authors named "Kristofer Charlton-Ouw"

91 Publications

Outcomes and Practice Patterns of Medical Management of Blunt Thoracic Aortic Injury from the Aortic Trauma Foundation Global Registry.

J Vasc Surg 2021 Sep 21. Epub 2021 Sep 21.

Division of Vascular Surgery, Department of Surgery, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA. Electronic address:

Objectives: Blunt Thoracic Aortic Injury (BTAI) is the second leading cause of death from blunt trauma. This study aims to determine the outcomes of medical management for BTAI. We hypothesized based on several previously published articles, that patients with minimal aortic injury (BTAI Grades 1 & 2) could safely be treated with definitive medical management (MM) alone.

Methods: The Aortic Trauma Foundation (ATF) international prospective multicenter registry was utilized to examine demographics, injury characteristics, management and outcomes of patients with BTAI. We analyzed a subset of patients in whom MM was initiated as definitive therapy.

Results: From November 2016 to April 2020, a total of 432 patients (median age 41, 76% male, median ISS 34) with BTAI (SVS Grade 1, 23.6%; Grade 2, 14.4%; Grade 3, 51.2%; Grade 4, 10.9%) were evaluated, of which 245 (57%) were treated with MM in the initial period and 114 patients (26.4%) were treated with MM as planned definitive therapy (Grade 1, 59.6%; Grade 2, 23.7%; Grade 3, 15.8%; Grade 4, 0.9%). The most common mechanism of BTAI was motor vehicle collision (60.4%). Hypotension was present on arrival in 74 patients (17.2%). Continuous titratable infusion of antihypertensive medication was utilized in 49.1%, followed by intermittent bolus administration (29.8%), with beta-blockers (74.6%) being the most common agent used. Treatments were targeted to a goal systolic blood pressure (SBP) in 83.3%, most commonly to target goal SBP < 120 mm Hg (66.3%). MM goals based on BP control were attained in 64.0% (73/114). Twelve (10.5%) patients (Grade 1, 1; Grade 2, 0; Grade 3, 10; Grade 4, 1) required subsequent intervention after MM, eleven (9.6%) of whom underwent thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR), while one (0.9%) required open repair for a Grade 4 injury. Overall in-hospital mortality for patients selected for definitive MM was 7.9%. There were no aortic-related deaths in patients undergoing definitive MM.

Conclusions: Approximately 1 in 4 patients with BTAI undergo MM as definitive therapy. There is considerable variation in pharmacological therapies utilized. Medical management for patients with minimal aortic injury (MAI; BTAI Grades 1 and 2) is safe and effective, with a low overall intervention rate and no aortic-related deaths. These findings support definitive MM for Grade 2 BTAI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2021.08.084DOI Listing
September 2021

Surgical resection and graft replacement for primary inferior vena cava leiomyosarcoma: a multicenter experience.

J Vasc Surg Venous Lymphat Disord 2021 Jul 14. Epub 2021 Jul 14.

Division of Vascular Surgery, Department of Surgery, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Ill. Electronic address:

Objective: Primary leiomyosarcoma of the inferior vena cava (IVC) is best managed with surgical resection when technically feasible. However, consensus is lacking regarding the best choice of conduit and reconstruction technique. The aim of the present multicenter study was to perform a comprehensive assessment through the VLFDC (Vascular Low Frequency Disease Consortium) to determine the most effective method for caval reconstruction after resection of primary leiomyosarcoma of the IVC.

Methods: A multicenter, standardized database review of patients who had undergone surgical resection and reconstruction of the IVC for primary leiomyosarcoma from 2007 to 2017 was performed. The demographics, periprocedural details, and postoperative outcomes were analyzed.

Results: A total of 92 patients (60 women and 32 men), with a mean age of 60.1 years (range, 30-88 years) were treated. Metastatic disease was present in 22%. The tumor location was below the renal veins in 49 (53%), between the renal and hepatic veins in 52 (57%), and above the hepatic veins in 13 patients (14%). The conduits used for reconstruction included ringed polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE; n = 80), nonringed PTFE (n = 1), Dacron (n = 1), autogenous vein (n = 1), bovine pericardium (n = 4), and cryopreserved tissue (n = 5). Complete R0 resection was accomplished in 73 patients (79%). In-hospital mortality was 2%, with a median length of stay of 8 days. The primary patency of PTFE reconstructed IVCs was 97% and 92% at 1 and 5 years, respectively, compared with 73% at 1 and 5 years for the non-PTFE reconstructed IVCs. The overall 1-, 3-, and 5-year survival for the entire cohort were 94%, 86%, and 65%, respectively CONCLUSIONS: The findings from our multi-institutional study have demonstrated that complete en bloc resection of IVC leiomyosarcoma with vascular surgical reconstruction in selected patients results in low perioperative mortality and is associated with excellent long-term patency. A ringed PTFE graft was the most commonly used conduit for caval reconstruction, yielding excellent long-term primary patency.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvsv.2021.06.021DOI Listing
July 2021

Aortic endograft sizing and endoleak, reintervention, and mortality following endovascular aneurysm repair.

J Vasc Surg 2021 May 1. Epub 2021 May 1.

Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Department of Surgery, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Mo. Electronic address:

Objective: Endograft sizing for endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm repair (EVAR) is not consistent despite published instructions for use (IFU). We sought to identify factors associated with over/undersizing, determine sex influence on sizing, and examine sizing effects on endoleak, reintervention, and mortality by analyzing data obtained from the W.L. Gore & Associates Global Registry for Endovascular Aortic Treatment (GREAT).

Methods: All patients enrolled in GREAT undergoing EVAR were included for analysis. Proximal/distal aortic landing zones were compared with device implanted to assess sizing as related to IFU. χ/Fisher exact tests were used to evaluate associations between IFU sizing and demographics. Logistic regression modeling was used to identify predictors of outside IFU sizing. Cox proportional hazards regression analyzed the relationship between sizing and endoleak, device-related reinterventions, and all-cause/aortic mortality.

Results: There were 3607 EVAR subjects enrolled in GREAT as of March 2020. Of them, 1896 (53%) were within IFU for sizing, 791 (22%) were oversized, 540 (15%) were undersized, and 380 (10%) had both over- and undersized components. Factors predictive of use outside of IFU included female sex (P = .001), non-white race (P = .0003), decreased proximal neck length (P < .061), or larger iliac diameters (P < .0001). Women were more likely than men to have proximal neck undersizing and iliac limb oversizing, and men were more likely to have iliac limb undersizing. On multivariate analysis, undersizing of the proximal graft was associated with endoleak (hazard ratio [HR], 1.8) and aortic (HR, 60.5) and all-cause (HR, 18.0) mortality. Undersizing of iliac limbs was associated with endoleak (HR, 1.5) and device-related reintervention (HR, 1.4). Iliac limb outside IFU sizing was associated with aortic (HR, 2.6) and all-cause (HR, 1.3) mortality. Proximal and distal oversizing was not associated with adverse outcomes. Female sex was associated with mortality on univariate but not multivariate analysis.

Conclusions: Women undergoing EVAR with GORE EXCLUDER abdominal aortic aneurysm Endoprosthesis (W.L. Gore & Associates Inc, Flagstaff, Ariz) are more likely to have proximal stent-graft undersizing and iliac limb oversizing, whereas men are more likely to have undersized iliac limbs. Proximal aortic graft undersizing is associated with endoleak and all-cause/aortic mortality, whereas undersizing of iliac limbs is associated with endoleak and device-related reintervention. Oversizing was not associated with adverse outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2021.04.045DOI Listing
May 2021

In-hospital outcomes and long-term survival of women of childbearing age with aortic dissection.

J Vasc Surg 2021 Oct 20;74(4):1135-1142.e1. Epub 2021 Apr 20.

Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), Houston, Tex. Electronic address:

Objective: In the present study, we defined the outcomes and effects of pregnancy in a cohort of women of childbearing age with acute aortic dissection (AAD).

Methods: We reviewed our database of AAD to identify all eligible female patients. Women aged <45 years were included. Data on pregnancy timing with respect to the occurrence of dissection, the demographic data, dissection extent, dissection treatment, dissection-related outcomes, overall maternal and fetal mortality, and genetic testing results were analyzed.

Results: A total of 62 women aged <45 years had presented to us with AAD from 1999 to 2017. Of the 62 women, 37 (60%) had had a history of pregnancy at AAD. Of these 37 patients, 10 (27%) had had a peripartum aortic dissection, defined as dissection during pregnancy or within 12 months postpartum. Of the 10 AADs, 5 were type A and 5 were type B. Three patients had presented with AAD during pregnancy (one in the second and two in the third trimester). Five patients (50%) had developed AAD in the immediate postpartum period (within 3 months) and two (20%) in the late postpartum period. For the immediate postpartum AADs (<3 months), four of the five patients delivered via cesarean section. Of these 10 peripartum AADs, 3 (30%) had occurred in patients with known Marfan syndrome. In-hospital mortality for those with peripartum AAD was 10% (1 of 10). Fetal mortality was 20% (2 of 10).

Conclusions: The frequency of aortic dissection in women of childbearing age at our institution was low. However, pregnancy might increase the risk of those young women genetically predisposed to dissection events. From these data, this risk appears to be greatest in the immediate postpartum period, even for those who undergo cesarean section. Close clinical and radiographic surveillance is required for all women with suspected aortopathy, especially in the third trimester and early postpartum period.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2021.03.028DOI Listing
October 2021

Effectiveness of Standard Local Anesthetic Bupivacaine and Liposomal Bupivacaine for Postoperative Pain Control in Patients Undergoing Truncal Incisions: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

JAMA Netw Open 2021 03 1;4(3):e210753. Epub 2021 Mar 1.

McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

Importance: Liposomal bupivacaine for pain relief is purported to last 3 days compared with 8 hours with standard bupivacaine. However, its effectiveness is unknown in truncal incisions for cardiothoracic or vascular operations.

Objective: To compare the effectiveness of single-administration standard bupivacaine vs liposomal bupivacaine in patients undergoing truncal incisions.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This randomized clinical trial enrolled patients undergoing sternotomy, thoracotomy, minithoracotomy, and laparotomy from a single cardiovascular surgery department in an academic medical center between November 2012 and June 2018. The study was powered to detect a Cohen effect size of 0.35 with a power of greater than 80%. Data analysis was performed from July to December 2018.

Intervention: Patients were randomized to standard bupivacaine or liposomal bupivacaine.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Pain was assessed over 3 postoperative days by the Numeric Rating Scale (NRS). Adjunctive opioids were converted to morphine equivalents units (MEU). NRS scores were compared using Wilcoxon rank-sum (3-day area under the curve) and 2-way nonparametric mixed models (daily scale score) to assess time-by-group interaction. Secondary outcomes included cumulative opioid consumption.

Results: A total of 280 patients were analyzed, with 140 in each group (single-administration standard bupivacaine vs liposomal bupivacaine). Mean (SD) age was 60.2 (14.4) years, and 101 of 280 patients (36%) were women. Irrespective of treatment assignment, pain decreased by a mean of approximately 1 point per day over 3 days (β = -0.87; SE = 0.11; mixed model regression P < .001). Incision type was associated with pain with patients undergoing thoracotomy (including minithoracotomy) reporting highest median (interquartile range [IQR]) pain scores on postoperative days 1 (liposomal vs standard bupivacaine, 6 [4-8] vs 5 [3-7]; P = .049, Wilcoxon rank-sum) and 2 (liposomal vs standard bupivacaine, 5 [4-7] vs 4 [2-6]; P = .003, Wilcoxon rank-sum) but not day 3 (liposomal vs standard bupivacaine, 3 [2-6] vs 3 [1-5]; P = .10, Wilcoxon rank-sum), irrespective of treatment group. Median (IQR) 3-day cumulative NRS was 12.0 (8.0-16.5) for bupivacaine and 13.5 (9.0-17.0) for liposomal bupivacaine (P = .15, Wilcoxon rank-sum) Furthermore, use of opioids was greater following liposomal bupivacaine compared with standard bupivacaine (median [IQR], 41.5 [21.3-73.8] MEU vs 33.0 [17.8-62.5] MEU; P = .03, Wilcoxon rank-sum). On multivariable analysis, no interaction by incision type was observed for mean pain scores or opioid use.

Conclusions And Relevance: In this randomized clinical trial involving truncal incisions for cardiovascular procedures, liposomal bupivacaine did not provide improved pain control and did not reduce adjunctive opioid use compared with conventional bupivacaine formulation over 3 postoperative days.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02111746.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.0753DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7967071PMC
March 2021

Do patients with minimal blunt thoracic aortic injury require thoracic endovascular repair?

J Trauma Acute Care Surg 2021 02;90(2):384-387

From the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center (J.J.D., J.M.), University of Maryland Medical System; Division of Vascular Surgery, University of Texas Health Sciences Center (K.C.-O., N.S.), Houston; Division of Vascular Surgery, University of Washington (B.S., E.Q.), Harborview; and Smidt Heart Institute (B.G., A.A.), Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles.

Introduction: The optimal management of minimal blunt thoracic aortic injuries (BTAIs) remains controversial, with experienced centers using therapy ranging from medical management (MM) to thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR).

Methods: The Aortic Trauma Foundation registry was used to examine demographics, injury characteristics, management, and outcomes of patients with BTAI.

Results: Two hundred ninety-six patients from 28 international centers were analyzed (mean age, 44.5 years [SD, 18 years]; 76% [225/296] male; mean Injury Severity Score, 34 [SD, 14]). Blunt thoracic aortic injury was classified as Grade I, 22.6% (67/296); Grade II, 17.6% (52/296); Grade III, 47.3% (140/296); and Grade IV, 12.5% (37/296). Overall aortic-related mortality (ARM) was 4.7% (14/296). Among all deaths, 33% (14/42) were ARM. Open repair was required for only 2%, with most undergoing TEVAR (58.4%) or MM (28.0%). Thoracic endovascular repair complications occurred in 3.4% (6/173), most commonly Type 1 endoleak (2.3%; 4/173). Among patients with minimal aortic injury (Grades I and II), 59.7% (71/119) received MM, while 40.3% (48/119) underwent TEVAR. Two patients initially managed with MM required subsequent TEVAR for injury progression during initial hospital stay. No significant difference in ARM between MM and TEVAR was noted for Grades I and II injuries.

Conclusion: A third of the trauma victims with BTAI succumb to ARM. Thoracic endovascular repair has replaced open repair but remains equivalent in outcomes to MM for minimal injuries. These data support MM of patients with minimal aortic injury.

Level Of Evidence: Therapeutic study, level IV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/TA.0000000000002995DOI Listing
February 2021

Fewer Cardiopulmonary Complications and Shorter Length of Stay in Anterolateral Thoracolumbar Spine Exposures Using a Small-Incision Specialized Retractor System.

J Clin Med 2020 Sep 27;9(10). Epub 2020 Sep 27.

Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), Houston, TX 77030, USA.

One of the challenges of spine surgery is the need for adequate exposure of the anterolateral spinal column. Improved retractor systems with integrated lighting minimize the need for large thoracotomy, flank, or abdominal incisions. In 2013, we began using the NuVasive MaXcess system via a minimal-access lateral incision for thoracic and thoracolumbar spine exposures. These small-access approaches may not offer adequate exposure when bleeding and other complications arise. We sought to determine the feasibility and outcomes of a minimal-access retractor during anterolateral spine exposures. An institutional-review-board-approved retrospective chart review was performed of all patients who underwent anterolateral thoracic and lumbosacral spine exposure at an academic hospital between December 1999 and April 2017. Cervical and posterior spine exposures were not included. Information regarding patient demographics, comorbid conditions, operative techniques, exposure, estimated blood loss, length of stay, and intraoperative and postoperative complications was collected. Data for standard exposure vs. minimally invasive exposures were compared. Between December 1999 and April 2017, 223 anterolateral spinal exposures were performed at our institution. Of those, 122 (54.7%) patients had true lateral exposures, with 22 (18%) using the minimally invasive retractor. The mean age of our patient population was 57 years (19-89), with 65 (53%) men and a mean body mass index of 29.0 (17.4-58.6). In the standard exposure group, complications occurred in 22 (22%) patients, whereas only two (9%) complications occurred in the minimal-access group. There were no significant differences in overall intraoperative and postoperative complications, except for cardiopulmonary complications, which were reduced in the minimally invasive group ( < 0.019). Patients with minimally invasive exposure had a significantly shorter length of stay than those with standard exposure (7 vs. 13 days, = 0.001). Minimal-access techniques using advanced retractor systems are both feasible and safe compared to standard techniques allowing for similar lateral spine exposure, but with smaller incisions, fewer cardiopulmonary complications, and shorter lengths of stay.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm9103119DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7600333PMC
September 2020

Characteristics of Trauma Mortality in Patients with Aortic Injury in Harris County, Texas.

J Clin Med 2020 Sep 14;9(9). Epub 2020 Sep 14.

HCA Houston Healthcare, Gulf Coast Division, Houston, TX 77004, USA.

Background: The National Academies of Science have issued a call for zero preventable trauma deaths. The mortality characteristics in all patients with aortic injury are not well described.

Methods: All prehospital and hospital medical examiner records for deaths occurring in Harris County, Texas in 2014 were retrospectively reviewed, and patients with traumatic aortic injury were selected. The level of aortic injury was categorized by zone (0 through 9) and further grouped by aortic region (arch, zones 0 to 2; descending thoracic, zones 3 to 5; visceral abdominal, zones 6 to 8; infrarenal, zone 9). Multiple investigators used standardized criteria to categorize deaths as preventable, potentially preventable, or non-preventable.

Results: Of 1848 trauma deaths, 192 (10%) had aortic injury. There were 59 (31%) aortic arch, 144 (75%) descending thoracic, 19 (10%) visceral abdominal, and 20 (10%) infrarenal aortic injuries. There were 178 (93%) non-preventable deaths and 14 (7%) potentially preventable deaths, and none were preventable. Non-preventable deaths were associated with blunt trauma (69%) and the arch or thoracic aorta (93%), whereas potentially preventable deaths were associated with penetrating trauma (93%) and the visceral abdominal or infrarenal aorta (79%) (all < 0.05). Half of potentially preventable deaths ( = 7) occurred at the scene, and half occurred at a trauma center.

Conclusion: Potentially preventable deaths after aortic injury were associated with penetrating mechanism and injury to the visceral abdominal and/or infrarenal aorta. Optimal prehospital and ED treatment include temporizing hemorrhage control, hemostatic resuscitation, and faster transport to definitive treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm9092965DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7565904PMC
September 2020

Heparin-bonded versus standard polytetrafluoroethylene arteriovenous grafts: A Bayesian perspective on a randomized controlled trial for comparative effectiveness.

Surgery 2020 Dec 26;168(6):1066-1074. Epub 2020 Aug 26.

Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, TX; HCA Houston Healthcare and the University of Houston College of Medicine, TX. Electronic address:

Background: Heparin-bonded polytetrafluoroethylene grafts were marketed to improve hemodialysis access outcomes but are twice the cost of standard polytetrafluoroethylene. We launched a randomized trial of heparin-bonded polytetrafluoroethylene versus standard polytetrafluoroethylene for hemodialysis access to compare patency. Since the trial began, additional studies were published with heterogeneous findings. We performed an interim analysis by Bayesian methods using prior probability from meta-analysis of existing literature.

Methods: NCT01601873 is a randomized, blinded trial of heparin-bonded polytetrafluoroethylene versus standard polytetrafluoroethylene for dialysis access at 5 sites. Planned sample size was 200 with 1-year primary patency as the primary endpoint. At interim analysis (50% of sample size at 1 year), we also performed a meta-analysis for 1-year primary patency with a random effects model to compute summary rate ratio and standard-error estimates. Meta-analysis estimates formed a prior probability for a Bayesian Cox regression model, and trial data were reanalyzed to develop posterior probability of heparin-bonded polytetrafluoroethylene effectiveness at our hypothesized effect size. Futility analysis was conducted using posterior probability estimates.

Results: One hundred and five patients were enrolled at the time of interim analysis. One-year primary patency was 34.9% in the heparin-bonded-polytetrafluoroethylene group vs 32.7% in the standard-polytetrafluoroethylene group (P = .884). Summary rate ratio from the meta-analysis (1,209 patients) was 0.87 favoring heparin-bonded polytetrafluoroethylene (P = .33). Posterior hazard ratio from Cox regression was 0.90 (credible interval 0.70-1.13) favoring heparin-bonded polytetrafluoroethylene, which was not significant. Bayesian posterior probability of the a priori hypothesized 20% better patency with heparin-bonded polytetrafluoroethylene was 24%. Sample size to detect superiority with the small observed effect size would require about 3,800 subjects.

Conclusion: Current evidence does not demonstrate sufficiently large benefit of heparin-bonded polytetrafluoroethylene over standard polytetrafluoroethylene for dialysis access to justify higher cost. Given similar 1-year patency rates, a conclusive finding of superiority was judged to be infeasible, and the trial was stopped for futility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.surg.2020.07.013DOI Listing
December 2020

Managing central venous access during a health care crisis.

J Vasc Surg 2020 Oct 15;72(4):1184-1195.e3. Epub 2020 Jul 15.

Division of Vascular Surgery, Department of Surgery, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY.

Objective: During the COVID-19 pandemic, central venous access line teams were implemented at many hospitals throughout the world to provide access for critically ill patients. The objective of this study was to describe the structure, practice patterns, and outcomes of these vascular access teams during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional, self-reported study of central venous access line teams in hospitals afflicted with the COVID-19 pandemic. To participate in the study, hospitals were required to meet one of the following criteria: development of a formal plan for a central venous access line team during the pandemic; implementation of a central venous access line team during the pandemic; placement of central venous access by a designated practice group during the pandemic as part of routine clinical practice; or management of an iatrogenic complication related to central venous access in a patient with COVID-19.

Results: Participants from 60 hospitals in 13 countries contributed data to the study. Central venous line teams were most commonly composed of vascular surgery and general surgery attending physicians and trainees. Twenty sites had 2657 lines placed by their central venous access line team or designated practice group. During that time, there were 11 (0.4%) iatrogenic complications associated with central venous access procedures performed by the line team or group at those 20 sites. Triple lumen catheters, Cordis (Santa Clara, Calif) catheters, and nontunneled hemodialysis catheters were the most common types of central venous lines placed by the teams. Eight (14%) sites reported experience in placing central venous lines in prone, ventilated patients with COVID-19. A dedicated line cart was used by 35 (59%) of the hospitals. Less than 50% (24 [41%]) of the participating sites reported managing thrombosed central lines in COVID-19 patients. Twenty-three of the sites managed 48 iatrogenic complications in patients with COVID-19 (including complications caused by providers outside of the line team or designated practice group).

Conclusions: Implementation of a dedicated central venous access line team during a pandemic or other health care crisis is a way by which physicians trained in central venous access can contribute their expertise to a stressed health care system. A line team composed of physicians with vascular skill sets provides relief to resource-constrained intensive care unit, ward, and emergency medicine teams with a low rate of iatrogenic complications relative to historical reports. We recommend that a plan for central venous access line team implementation be in place for future health care crises.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2020.06.112DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7362805PMC
October 2020

Five-year outcomes of endovascular repair of complicated acute type B aortic dissections.

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2020 May 13. Epub 2020 May 13.

Department of Vascular Surgery, Long Beach Memorial Heart and Vascular Institute, Long Beach, Calif.

Objective: Thoracic endovascular aortic repair is the standard of care for acute complicated type B aortic dissections, but long-term single-device outcomes are limited.

Methods: Fifty patients were treated with the Valiant Captivia thoracic stent graft (Medtronic Inc, Santa Rosa, Calif) for acute complicated type B aortic dissections in this prospective, nonrandomized Dissection Trial. All-cause mortality, secondary procedures, and serious adverse events were assessed, and a core lab evaluated images for aortic remodeling.

Results: Compliance for both clinical and imaging follow-up was 78% (18 out of 23) for the available patients at 5 years. Notable baseline characteristics were 86% of patients (43 out of 50) had malperfusion, 20% (10 out of 50) had ruptures, and 94% (46 out of 49) had DeBakey class IIIB dissections. The 5-year freedom from dissection-related mortality, secondary procedures related to the dissection, and endoleaks was 83%, 86%, and 85%, respectively. After 5 years, 89% of patients (16 out of 18) had a completely thrombosed false lumen in the stented segment of the aorta and the true lumen diameter over the length of stent graft was stable or increased for 94% of patients (16 out of 17) while the false lumen diameter was stable or decreased in 77% (13 out of 17) after 5 years.

Conclusions: In the Dissection Trial, patients experienced positive and sustained measures of aortic remodeling. Survival outcomes, need for secondary procedures, and adverse event rates were consistent with previous thoracic endovascular aortic repair studies. Although limitations exist with the follow-up compliance, the Valiant Captivia thoracic stent graft system was effective in the long-term management of acute complicated type B aortic dissections in this patient population with a challenging condition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcvs.2020.03.162DOI Listing
May 2020

Reply.

J Vasc Surg Venous Lymphat Disord 2020 07;8(4):699-700

Department of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Tex.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvsv.2020.04.014DOI Listing
July 2020

Reply.

J Vasc Surg 2020 09 4;72(3):1156-1157. Epub 2020 Apr 4.

Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, McGovern Medical School, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), Houston, Tex; Heart and Vascular Institute, Memorial Hermann Hospital-Texas Medical Center, Houston, Tex.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2020.03.022DOI Listing
September 2020

Differences in quality of life outcomes after paraclavicular decompression for thoracic outlet syndrome.

J Vasc Surg 2020 10 27;72(4):1421-1426. Epub 2020 Feb 27.

Division of Vascular Surgery, Department of Surgery, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, Calif.

Background: Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) results from compression of the neurovascular structures in the thoracic outlet. Decompression provides relief of TOS symptoms. However, little is known about long-term function and quality of life (QoL) from a patient's perspective. The purpose of this study was to evaluate surgical and QoL outcomes after surgical decompression of the thoracic outlet using a paraclavicular approach.

Methods: A prospectively maintained database was used to conduct a retrospective review of patients who underwent thoracic outlet decompression between August 2004 and August 2018. We excluded patients without complete follow-up data. Functional outcomes were assessed by the Derkash classification (poor, fair, good, excellent) using contingency table methods, and QoL was assessed by the 12-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-12) using general linear models. SF-12 was scored by published criteria, and scale-specific and aggregate mental and physical health-related QoL scores were computed. Aggregate QoL scores range from 0 (terrible) to 100 (perfect). Secondary outcomes included mortality, complications, and duration of hospital stay.

Results: We performed 105 operations for TOS, and 100 patients with complete follow-up data were included in the study. Five patients were lost to follow-up. Median age was 35 (interquartile range, 24-47) years, and 58 (58%) were female. The median duration of hospital stay was 4 (interquartile range, 3-5.5) days. Of these patients, 46 had venous etiology, 8 arterial, 42 neurogenic, and 4 mixed vascular and neurogenic. Good or excellent Derkash results were reported in 77 (77%) patients, 46 of 54 (85%) of those with vascular TOS vs 31 of 46 (67%) of those with neurogenic etiology (P < .036). SF-12 score was obtained in 93 of 100 (93%) with a median duration from surgery of 6.1 (3.3-9.3) years. Patients with neurogenic TOS (NTOS) reported significantly lower aggregate mental health QoL than patients with vascular-only TOS (57 vs 59; P < .016). This effect persisted across the entire duration of follow-up and was unaffected by time from surgery (regression P for time = .509). In contrast, aggregate physical function QoL was unaffected by neurogenic etiology (P = .303), and all patients improved linearly with time (0.5 scale unit/y; P < .009). Three patients with incomplete relief of symptoms after paraclavicular decompression for NTOS underwent pectoralis minor decompression. There were no deaths or injuries to the long thoracic nerve. Complications included pleural effusion or hemothorax requiring evacuation (n = 6), neurapraxia (n = 6), and lymph leak (n = 2) treated with tube thoracostomy.

Conclusions: NTOS is associated with significantly worse functional outcome assessed by the Derkash classification. NTOS also demonstrated worse composite mental health QoL, which did not improve over time. In contrast, composite physical health QoL improved linearly with time from surgery regardless of etiology of TOS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2019.12.037DOI Listing
October 2020

Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) and Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) reporting standards for type B aortic dissections.

J Vasc Surg 2020 03 27;71(3):723-747. Epub 2020 Jan 27.

Division of Cardiovascular Surgery, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa.

This Society for Vascular Surgery/Society of Thoracic Surgeons (SVS/STS) document illustrates and defines the overall nomenclature associated with type B aortic dissection. The contents describe a new classification system for practical use and reporting that includes the aortic arch. Chronicity of aortic dissection is also defined along with nomenclature in patients with prior aortic repair and other aortic pathologic processes, such as intramural hematoma and penetrating atherosclerotic ulcer. Complicated vs uncomplicated dissections are clearly defined with a new high-risk grouping that will undoubtedly grow in reporting and controversy. Follow-up criteria are also discussed with nomenclature for false lumen status in addition to measurement criteria and definitions of aortic remodeling. Overall, the document provides a facile framework of language that will allow more granular discussions and reporting of aortic dissection in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2019.11.013DOI Listing
March 2020

Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) and Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) Reporting Standards for Type B Aortic Dissections.

Ann Thorac Surg 2020 03 27;109(3):959-981. Epub 2020 Jan 27.

Division of Cardiovascular Surgery, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

This Society for Vascular Surgery/Society of Thoracic Surgeons (SVS/STS) document illustrates and defines the overall nomenclature associated with type B aortic dissection. The contents describe a new classification system for practical use and reporting that includes the aortic arch. Chronicity of aortic dissection is also defined along with nomenclature in patients with prior aortic repair and other aortic pathologic processes, such as intramural hematoma and penetrating atherosclerotic ulcer. Complicated vs uncomplicated dissections are clearly defined with a new high-risk grouping that will undoubtedly grow in reporting and controversy. Follow-up criteria are also discussed with nomenclature for false lumen status in addition to measurement criteria and definitions of aortic remodeling. Overall, the document provides a facile framework of language that will allow more granular discussions and reporting of aortic dissection in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2019.10.005DOI Listing
March 2020

Resection and replacement of thoracic aortic graft infections.

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2021 Jul 27;162(1):1-8. Epub 2019 Nov 27.

Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), Houston, Tex; Memorial Hermann Heart & Vascular Institute - Texas Medical Center, Houston, Tex.

Objectives: Thoracic aortic graft infection (TAGI) presents a formidable challenge with high mortality. We evaluated our 22-year experience managing TAGI with extensive debridement, graft replacement, vascularized tissue coverage, and aggressive antibiotics.

Methods: We reviewed all consecutive patients with TAGI from 1991 to 2013. We also compared infected cases versus noninfected reoperative controls using a case-control design. Standard statistical methods were used for descriptive analysis, and Kaplan-Meier for survival analysis.

Results: We treated 32 TAGI patients, involving 19 ascending/arch (A/A) and 13 descending/thoracoabdominal (D/TAA) grafts, including 4 endografts. In total, 19 (59.4%) presented with pseudoaneurysm and 11 (34.4%) with aortic fistula. Vascularized tissue (omentum or muscle) coverage was possible in 22 (71.0%) patients. Thirty-day mortality occurred in 3 (9.4%) patients, with no 30-day mortality among those receiving vascularized graft coverage (P = .018). During follow-up, reinfection occurred in 8 patients (25% [4 A/A and 4 D/TAA]). Five-year overall (A/A 45.4% vs D/TAA 28.9%, P = .434) and reinfection-free (A/A 19.2%, D/TAA 27%, P = .409) survival was similar between groups. Long-term mortality was greater after endograft infection (100% vs 25% at 2.5 months, P = .0007) or aortobronchial fistulization (100% vs 37.9% at 6 months, P = .026). Time to reintervention was shorter in infected versus non-infected reoperative cases (31 vs 83 months, P < .0001), but there were no significant differences in long-term mortality after reoperation.

Conclusions: TAGI continues to represent a highly morbid surgical challenge. Prompt antimicrobial coverage, debridement, graft replacement, and vascularized graft coverage, yielded best long-term results. Endograft infection and aortobronchial fistula had very poor prognoses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcvs.2019.10.196DOI Listing
July 2021

Clinical Characteristics and Long-Term Outcomes of Midaortic Syndrome.

Ann Vasc Surg 2020 Jul 7;66:318-325. Epub 2020 Jan 7.

Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center Houston, McGovern Medical School, Memorial Hermann Hospital - Heart and Vascular Institute, Houston, TX. Electronic address:

Background: Midaortic syndrome (MAS) is a rare congenital or acquired condition marked by segmental or diffuse stenosis of the distal thoracic and/or abdominal aorta and its branches. The optimal approach to medical or interventional management of MAS and long-term outcomes in adults are not well defined. We reviewed MAS cases to characterize the natural history of aortic disease, identify prognostic factors, and evaluate the durability of invasive interventions.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of patients with MAS who presented to Memorial Hermann Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine between 1997 and 2018. We categorized cases according to demographic and clinical manifestations, etiologies, the extent of aortic involvement, interventions, and vascular outcomes.

Results: We identified a cohort of 13 patients with MAS. The etiology of MAS was identified in 6 cases, including genetic syndromes (neurofibromatosis type 1 (2/13), Williams syndrome (1/13), fibromuscular dysplasia (2/13), and Takayasu arteritis (1/13)). Mean age at first documented clinical event was 25.2 (2-67) years, but cases with genetic etiologies presented significantly younger (18.2 years). The most common primary anatomic site was the suprarenal and infrarenal aorta (zones 5-8). Extra-aortic locations involved the renal (4/13), celiac (3/13), and superior mesenteric (3/13) arteries. Clinical manifestations included hypertension (13/13), claudication (9/13), and postprandial abdominal pain (5/13). All patients with available follow-up data underwent at least one surgical or endovascular intervention (range: 1-8). Postoperative complications included renal failure requiring postdischarge hemodialysis and respiratory failure. There were no deaths in long-term follow-up.

Conclusions: MAS is a complex vasculopathy with substantial variability in clinical presentation and anatomic distribution. Extensive disease frequently requires multiple invasive interventions and results in refractory hypertension, which may predict subsequent clinical events. A multidisciplinary approach with long-term monitoring is essential for preservation of end-organ function and quality of life in this debilitating disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.avsg.2019.12.039DOI Listing
July 2020

Propensity and impact of autologous platelet rich plasma use in acute type A dissection.

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2020 06 15;159(6):2288-2297.e1. Epub 2019 Jun 15.

Memorial Hermann Heart & Vascular Institute, Texas Medical Center, Houston, Tex; Department of Anesthesiology, McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, Tex. Electronic address:

Background: Coagulopathy in patients undergoing open repair of acute type A aortic dissection using cardiopulmonary bypass and hypothermic circulatory arrest is a common complication. Autologous platelet rich plasma is an intraoperative blood conservation technique, which has been shown in previous studies to promote hemostasis, leading to a reduction of blood product transfusions during elective aortic surgery. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of autologous platelet rich plasma as a blood conservation technique during open surgical repair of acute type A aortic dissection.

Methods: We reviewed all acute type A aortic dissection cases using hypothermic circulatory arrest, excluding patients presenting in extremis. Perioperative transfusion requirements and clinical outcomes were analyzed. The end points analyzed included early mortality, postoperative stroke, renal dysfunction, prolonged ventilation, coagulopathy, and length of postoperative intensive care unit stay. Parsimonious and saturated propensity scores were calculated for platelet rich plasma use, and all outcomes were propensity adjusted.

Results: Between 2003 and 2014, 85 of 391 acute type A aortic dissection repairs used autologous platelet rich plasma. Mean age of patients was 58 ± 15 years, and 70% were male. Obstructive sleep apnea (22% vs 13%, P = .04) and baseline ejection fraction (57% ± 6.7% vs 55% ± 10%; P = .014) were higher in the autologous platelet rich plasma group. Intraoperative propensity-adjusted blood products, 2 units fewer packed red blood cells (P = .001), 4 units fewer fresh-frozen plasma (P = .001), 6 units fewer platelets (P = .001), 1.3 units fewer cell-savers (P = .002), and 5 units fewer cryoprecipitate (P = .001) were significantly reduced by autologous platelet rich plasma use. Significant unadjusted reduction in postoperative reoperation for bleeding (8% vs 17%, P = .046) after autologous platelet rich plasma was reported, although propensity adjustment eliminated significance (P = .079). No difference in stroke, cardiac, or renal complications was observed. Postoperative transfusion needed during the first 3 days was significantly reduced in the autologous platelet rich plasma group: 2 units fewer packed red blood cells (P = .13), 2 units fewer fresh-frozen plasma (P = .018), and 5 units fewer platelets (P = .001), when compared with those without autologous platelet rich plasma. Ventilation time was reduced by 3 days (P = .002), and intensive care length of stay was reduced by 3 days (P = .063) after intraoperative autologous platelet rich plasma use.

Conclusions: The use of autologous platelet rich plasma in patients undergoing open repair of acute type A aortic dissection was associated with a reduction in intraoperative and postoperative blood transfusions, as well as decreased early postoperative morbidity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcvs.2019.04.111DOI Listing
June 2020

A multi-institutional experience in vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome diagnosis.

J Vasc Surg 2020 01 26;71(1):149-157. Epub 2019 Jul 26.

Division of Vascular Surgery, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Calif.

Objective: Vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (vEDS) is a rare disorder and 1 of 13 types of EDS. The syndrome results in aortic and arterial aneurysms and dissections at a young age. Diagnosis is confirmed with molecular testing via skin biopsy or genetic testing for COL3A1 pathogenic variants. We describe a multi-institutional experience in the diagnosis of vEDS from 2000 to 2015.

Methods: This is a multi-institutional cross-sectional retrospective study of individuals with vEDS. The institutions were recruited through the Vascular Low Frequency Disease Consortium. Individuals were identified using the International Classification of Diseases-9 and 10-CM codes for EDS (756.83 and Q79.6). A review of records was then performed to select individuals with vEDS. Data abstraction included demographics, family history, clinical features, major and minor diagnostic criteria, and molecular testing results. Individuals were classified into two cohorts and then compared: those with pathogenic COL3A1 variants and those diagnosed by clinical criteria alone without molecular confirmation.

Results: Eleven institutions identified 173 individuals (35.3% male, 56.6% Caucasian) with vEDS. Of those, 11 (9.8%) had nonpathogenic alterations in COL3A1 and were excluded from the analysis. Among the remaining individuals, 86 (47.7% male, 68% Caucasian, 48.8% positive family history) had pathogenic COL3A1 variants and 76 (19.7% male, 19.7% Caucasian, 43.4% positive family history) were diagnosed by clinical criteria alone without molecular confirmation. Compared with the cohort with pathogenic COL3A1 variants, the clinical diagnosis only cohort had a higher number of females (80.3% vs 52.3%; P < .001), mitral valve prolapse (10.5% vs 1.2%; P = .009), and joint hypermobility (68.4% vs 40.7%; P < .001). Additionally, they had a lower frequency of easy bruising (23.7% vs 64%; P < .001), thin translucent skin (17.1% vs 48.8%; P < .001), intestinal perforation (3.9% vs 16.3%; P = .01), spontaneous pneumothorax/hemothorax (3.9% vs 14%, P.03), and arterial rupture (9.2% vs 17.4%; P = .13). There were no differences in mortality or age of mortality between the two cohorts.

Conclusions: This study highlights the importance of confirming vEDS diagnosis by testing for pathogenic COL3A1 variants rather than relying on clinical diagnostic criteria alone given the high degree of overlap with other forms genetically triggered arteriopathies. Because not all COL3A1 variants are pathogenic, the interpretation of the genetic testing results by an individual trained in variant assessment is essential to confirm the diagnosis. An accurate diagnosis is critical and has serious implications for lifelong screening and treatment strategies for the affected individual and family members.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2019.04.487DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7245161PMC
January 2020

Predictors of poor outcome in infrainguinal bypass for trauma.

J Vasc Surg 2019 12 24;70(6):1816-1822. Epub 2019 Jun 24.

Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) and Memorial Hermann Hospital, Houston, Tex. Electronic address:

Background: Trauma remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Vascular injuries are present in approximately 1% to 2% of trauma patients, with the majority of injuries occurring to the extremities. Trauma patients with vascular injuries have been shown to have increased morbidity and mortality as well as the need for increased resources compared with those without vascular injuries. This study aimed to determine predictors of poor outcomes in infrainguinal bypasses performed for traumatic arterial injury.

Methods: All patients admitted between September 1999 and July 2015 who underwent infrainguinal arterial bypass for trauma at a single level I trauma center were included for analysis. The primary outcome was a composite of thrombosis leading to graft abandonment, revision, amputation, or death. Data were analyzed by univariate descriptive and multiple logistic regression analyses. Long-term data were analyzed by Kaplan-Meier method.

Results: During the study period, 108 patients presented with and underwent infrainguinal arterial bypass for traumatic arterial injury. The cohort had a mean age of 35.8 years (16/108 female [15%]). The average Injury Severity Score was 15.2; admission glomerular filtration rate, 79.3 mL/min/1.73 m; Mangled Extremity Severity Score (MESS), 6; and injury to operating room time, 5.1 hours. Of 108 patients, 37 (34%) had penetrating injury, 71 (66%) had blunt injury, 10 (9.3%) had diabetes mellitus, and 76 (70.4%) had a below-knee target for bypass. Univariate risk factors for poor outcome included age >40 years (odds ratio [OR], 3.27 [1.40-7.65]; P < .01), MESS ≥7 (OR, 5.19 [2.08-19.97]; P < .01), blunt mechanism (OR, 3.35 [1.24-9.07]; P = .02), popliteal artery injury (OR, 3.04 [1.22-7.6]; P = .02), and below-knee target vessel (OR, 4.32 [1.37-13.58]; P = .01). Concomitant orthopedic injuries (P = .08) were not associated with poor outcome. Baseline renal function, type of repair performed (end-to-side vs interposition bypass), injury to surgery time, surgeon's specialty, and associated venous injuries were not significantly predictive of poor outcome. MESS was strongly predictive of poor outcome, with probability rising as high as 95% when MESS reached 12. A score ≥7 (high MESS) was 73% sensitive and 70% specific to predict poor outcomes. Age (OR, 1.03/y; P < .05) and MESS ≥7 (OR, 3.6; P < .03) were persistent predictors of poor outcome in multivariable analysis.

Conclusions: Poor outcomes in infrainguinal bypass for trauma are significantly predicted by the MESS, with poor outcomes occurring >50% of the time when MESS is ≥9 and >75% of the time when MESS is ≥11. Whereas amputation vs revascularization is a decision that also depends on nerve and soft tissue damage and other comorbidities, the MESS helps frame the data for the clinician and can aid in decision-making. Patients and family should understand that poor outcomes are more likely when MESS is ≥9. For patients with MESS ≥11, primary amputation can be considered.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2019.03.056DOI Listing
December 2019

Asymptomatic patients with unsuccessful percutaneous inferior vena cava filter retrieval rarely develop complications despite strut penetrations through the caval wall.

J Vasc Surg Venous Lymphat Disord 2020 01 21;8(1):54-61. Epub 2019 Jun 21.

Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), Houston, Tex; Memorial Herman Heart and Vascular Institute, Texas Medical Center, Houston, Tex. Electronic address:

Objective: We established a program for retrieval of inferior vena cava (IVC) filters within our hospital system. When percutaneous retrieval fails, we only recommend open surgical removal for symptoms and other complications. We examined our outcomes with conservative management of unsuccessful percutaneous retrieval and open surgical removal for symptomatic/complicated IVC filters.

Methods: All patients with history of IVC filter placement who were referred to us for retrieval between 2010 and 2016 were evaluated. Before retrieval, patients were evaluated for risk of future venous thromboembolic events and ongoing need for IVC filtration. Asymptomatic patients with unsuccessful percutaneous filter retrieval were recommended to have annual follow-up with plain abdominal radiographs and to take daily low-dose aspirin. Patients with symptoms referable to the indwelling filter and those with complications were offered open surgical removal.

Results: There were 213 patients with a history of IVC filter placement who underwent 220 percutaneous attempts for retrieving 214 IVC filters (four patients had two attempts, one patient had three attempts). Technical success in percutaneously retrieving the filter was 180 of 214 (84.1%) at a median of 5.5 months (interquartile range [IQR], 3.5-9.2) from implant. The median filter dwell time was significantly longer in unsuccessful compared with successful retrieval attempts (8.3 months [IQR, 4.3-15.1 months] vs 5.5 months [IQR, 3.2-8.7 months]; P = .011). Of the 34 filters in 33 patients that could not be retrieved percutaneously, all had either significant filter barb penetration through the caval wall or a tilt angle of greater than 15°. The majority of patients (67%) remained asymptomatic without any further complications over a mean follow-up of 24 months (IQR, 12-50 months). No asymptomatic patients developed symptoms or complications over the follow-up period. Two of the five patients who were symptomatic underwent open surgical removal via minilaparotomy. An additional six patients who failed percutaneous retrieval at other institutions were referred to us for open surgical removal owing to symptoms or complications. Technical success for all open surgical removal of IVC filters was 100%. All patients had resolution of their symptoms after percutaneous or open surgical removal.

Conclusions: Asymptomatic patients with unsuccessful percutaneous IVC filter retrieval seem to have low complications in midterm follow-up despite significant filter strut penetration. Without symptoms or other complications, such patients do not require referral for open surgical filter removal. Symptomatic patients can expect low morbidity and resolution of symptoms after percutaneous or open surgical removal. Further studies are needed to determine the cost-effectiveness of routinely removing asymptomatic IVC filters.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvsv.2019.03.017DOI Listing
January 2020

Imaging characteristics of acute type A aortic dissection and candidacy for repair with ascending aortic endografts.

J Vasc Surg 2019 12 12;70(6):1766-1775.e1. Epub 2019 Jun 12.

Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), Houston, Tex; Memorial Hermann Heart & Vascular Institute, Texas Medical Center, Houston, Tex. Electronic address:

Background: Acute type A aortic dissection (ATAD) remains associated with substantial short-term mortality, and despite increasing rates of surgical repair, as many as 10% to 20% of patients do not undergo surgery because of comorbidities and dissection-related complications. For patients unable to undergo open repair, previous attempts at endovascular treatment of ATAD used devices originally designed for deployment in the descending thoracic aorta. Industry has begun to support early investigational devices meant specifically for placement within the ascending aorta. We evaluated relevant aortic parameters to examine which patients may be candidates for repair with an ascending aortic endograft.

Methods: We reviewed 100 consecutive patients in our institutional ATAD database with contrast-enhanced computed tomography imaging on an Aquarius iNtuition workstation (TeraRecon, San Mateo, Calif), using curved planar reformatting (vessel tracking) and orthogonal views for measurements. We compared relevant aortic measurements against proposed criteria for future ascending endografts, including various landing zone diameters and intimal tear distances from the distal coronary ostium.

Results: Of the 100 patients examined, 39% had proximal intimal tears located outside the tubular ascending aorta. In all, 30% were excluded on the basis of either the presence of a prosthetic aortic valve or significant aortic insufficiency, and 6% were excluded on the basis of the presence of patent coronary artery bypass grafts from the ascending aorta. Many patients had multiple exclusion criteria, and based on various proposed criteria, overall candidacy ranged from 2% to 23%. If a maximum landing zone diameter of 42 mm and intimal tears as little as 20 mm distal to the distalmost coronary were considered treatable, only 8% of patients would have been candidates compared with 20% candidacy if aortic diameters up to 46 mm and intimal tears as little as 10 mm distal to the distalmost coronary were considered treatable. The most frequent single cause for exclusion was inadequacy of the proximal landing zone. Iliofemoral vascular access was also assessed and deemed adequate in >90% of cases.

Conclusions: A minority of patients suffering ATAD would currently qualify for ascending aortic endografting on the basis of anatomic criteria alone. Future device designs should take into account these common anatomic exclusion criteria so that more versatile devices may be developed and commercially available to treat a larger number of patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2019.04.438DOI Listing
December 2019

A multi-institutional experience in the aortic and arterial pathology in individuals with genetically confirmed vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

J Vasc Surg 2019 11 21;70(5):1543-1554. Epub 2019 May 21.

Division of Vascular Surgery, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Calif.

Objective: Vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (vEDS) is a rare connective tissue disorder owing to pathogenic variants in COL3A1 that lead to impaired type III collagen production. We aim to describe the contemporary multi-institutional experience of aortic and arterial pathology in individuals with vEDS, to evaluate disease patterns and refine management recommendations.

Methods: This cross-sectional, retrospective study of individuals with genetically confirmed vEDS was conducted between 2000 and 2015 at multiple institutions participating in the Vascular Low Frequency Disease Consortium. Aortic and arterial events including aneurysms, pseudoaneurysms, dissections, fistulae, or ruptures were studied. Demographics, COL3A1 variants, management, and outcomes data were collected and analyzed. Individuals with and without arterial events were compared.

Results: Eleven institutions identified 86 individuals with pathogenic variants in COL3A1 (47.7% male, 86% Caucasian; median age, 41 years; interquartile range [IQR], 31.0-49.5 years; 65.1% missense COL3A1 variants). The median follow-up from the time of vEDS diagnosis was 7.5 years (IQR, 3.5-12.0 years). A total of 139 aortic/arterial pathologies were diagnosed in 53 individuals (61.6%; 50.9% male; 88.5% Caucasian; median age, 33 years; IQR, 25.0-42.3 years). The aortic/arterial events presented as an emergency in 52 cases (37.4%). The most commonly affected arteries were the mesenteric arteries (31.7%), followed by cerebrovascular (16.5%), iliac (16.5%), and renal arteries (12.2%). The most common management was medical management. When undertaken, the predominant endovascular interventions were arterial embolization of medium sized arteries (13.4%), followed by stenting (2.5%). Aortic pathology was noted in 17 individuals (32%; 58.8% male; 94.1% Caucasian; median age, 38.5 years; IQR, 30.8-44.7 years). Most notably, four individuals underwent successful abdominal aortic aneurysm repair with excellent results on follow-up. Individuals with missense mutations, in which glycine was substituted with a large amino acid, had an earlier onset of aortic/arterial pathology (median age, 30 years; IQR, 23.5-37 years) compared with the other pathogenic COL3A1 variants (median age, 36 years; IQR, 29.5-44.8 years; P = .065). There were 12 deaths (22.6%) at a median age of 36 years (IQR, 28-51 years).

Conclusions: Most of the vEDS arterial manifestations were managed medically in this cohort. When intervention is required for an enlarging aneurysm or rupture, embolization, and less frequently stenting, seem to be well-tolerated. Open repair of abdominal aortic aneurysm seems to be as well-tolerated as in those without vEDS; vEDS should not be a deterrent to offering an operation. Future work to elucidate the role of surgical interventions and refine management recommendations in the context of patient centered outcomes is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2019.01.069DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8240141PMC
November 2019

Open Descending and Thoracoabdominal Aortic Repairs in Patients Younger Than 50 Years Old.

Ann Thorac Surg 2019 09 19;108(3):693-699. Epub 2019 Apr 19.

Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) and Memorial Hermann Hospital, Houston, Texas. Electronic address:

Background: The purpose of this study was to redefine indications of open descending and thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm repair in the younger population.

Methods: Between 1991 and 2017, 2012 patients undergoing descending and thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm repair at our institution were divided into 2 groups for comparison: younger (<50 years; 276 [14%]) and older (≥50 years; 1736 [86%]). Patient demographics and perioperative outcomes were retrospectively reviewed.

Results: Younger patients had significantly more heritable thoracic aortic disease (HTAD; 53% vs 9%, P < .001) and chronic dissections (64% vs 26%, P < .001) and fewer comorbidities. The younger cohort underwent more extent II repairs (28% vs 15%, P < .001). Operative mortality was significantly lower in younger patients (6% vs 17%, P < .001). Significant disabling complications (composite of operative mortality, paraplegia/paraparesis, stroke, and dialysis) were seen in 17% of the younger patients and in 40% of older patients 40% (P < .001). In multivariate analysis, extent of repair and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were independent predictors for significant disabling complications in the younger cohort. Additional aortic interventions were required in 12% in the younger group and in 4% in the older group (P < .001), and nearly one-third were in the treated segment (ie, treatment failure) in both groups. Younger patients requiring additional reintervention had significantly higher incidence of HTAD (66% vs 9%, P < .001). Survival rate was significantly higher in the younger patient group, with a 10-year survival rate of 74.6% ± 2.9% vs 40.7% ± 1.3% (log-rank P < .001).

Conclusions: Patients younger than 50 years with descending and thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm have low surgical risks, and open repairs can be performed with excellent short-term and durable long-term results. Open surgical repairs should be considered initially in younger patients requiring descending and thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm repairs. HTAD warrants closer postoperative surveillance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2019.03.058DOI Listing
September 2019

Superficial Femoral Artery Occlusion Reduces Aortofemoral Bypass Graft Patency.

Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg 2019 05 22;57(5):650-657. Epub 2019 Mar 22.

Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Centre at Houston (UTHealth) and Memorial Hermann Hospital, Houston, TX, USA. Electronic address:

Objectives: The effect of superficial femoral artery (SFA) occlusion on long-term patency of aortofemoral bypasses (AFBs) for aortoiliac occlusive disease (AIOD) was examined.

Methods: The AIOD database was reviewed to identify risk factors for AFB failure. The status of the SFA at AFB procedure was categorised as patent; diseased treated (DT), if the SFA occlusion was intervened on concomitant to AFB; or diseased untreated (DU), if the SFA was occluded but not revascularised. Censoring hierarchies for primary patency and patent graft survival time were constructed. Data were analysed by contingency table, Kaplan-Meier, and Cox regression analysis.

Results: Between 2004 and 2015, 122 AFB (9 unifemoral, 113 bifemoral) for AIOD were performed. Seventy-five (61%) were female and the mean age was 60 ± 10 years. At the time of AFB, 50 (41%) had occluded SFAs (DT/DU). Of these, 15 had concomitant SFA revascularisation (i.e., DT) at the time of AFB. Patients with occluded SFAs had greater history of prior aortoiliac/infrainguinal procedures (aortoiliac 54% vs. 22%, infrainguinal 58% vs. 25%, both p < 0.001), Trans-Atlantic Inter-Society Consensus II classification of femoropopliteal type D lesions (78 vs. 10%, p < 0.001), Rutherford 4-6 categories (80% vs. 57%, p = 0.011), and longer hospital stay (median 11 vs. 7 days, p < 0.004). SFA status did not affect 30 day mortality (overall 9%); however, sub-analysis showed DT had significantly higher mortality than DU (p < 0.03). Over a median follow up of 7.7 (IQR 4.3-11.4) years, primary patency at one and five years was 98.3% and 91.2% in patients with patent SFAs, 87.9% and 82.7% in DU, and 72.7% and 43.6% in DT (p < 0.001), respectively. On multivariable analysis, low baseline glomerular filtration rate (HR 1.01, p = 0.022), DT (HR 3.7, p = 0.020), Rutherford 4-6 (HR 9.1, p = 0.048), and occluded SFA (HR 3.9, p = 0.009) adversely affected primary patency of AFBs. Long-term mortality was not different between the SFA status groups (p = 0.279).

Conclusion: Baseline SFA occlusion predicted a fourfold increased hazard of primary AFB failure. Concomitant SFA revascularisation did not improve AFB durability and was associated with increased in hospital mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejvs.2018.10.031DOI Listing
May 2019

The role of ascending aortic size in outcomes of patients with uncomplicated acute type B aortic dissection.

J Vasc Surg 2019 Apr 6;69(4):1011-1020. Epub 2018 Oct 6.

Division of Vascular Surgery, Department of Surgery, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, Calif. Electronic address:

Objective: Recent studies demonstrate that uncomplicated acute type B aortic dissection (uATBAD) patients with enlarged descending thoracic aortic diameters are at high risk for development of complications. This study aimed to determine the association of maximum ascending aortic diameter and area and outcomes in patients with uATBAD.

Methods: All patients admitted with uATBAD from June 2000 to January 2015 were reviewed, and those with available imaging were included. All measurements were obtained by a specialized cardiovascular radiologist, including the maximum ascending aortic diameter and area. Outcomes, including the need for intervention and mortality, were tracked over time. Data were analyzed by stratified Kaplan-Meier and multiple Cox regression analyses using SAS 9.4 software (SAS Institute, Cary, NC).

Results: During the study period, 298 patients with uATBAD were admitted, with 238 having available computed tomography and 131 having computed tomography angiography imaging and adequate follow-up available for analysis. The cohort had an average age of 60.96 ± 13.4 years (60% male, 53% white). Ascending aortic area >12.1 cm and ascending aortic diameter >40.8 mm were associated with subsequent arch and proximal progression necessitating open ascending aortic repair (P < .027 and P < .033, respectively). Ascending diameter >40.8 mm predicted lower intervention-free survival (P = .01). However, it failed to predict overall survival (P = .12). Ascending aortic area >12.1 cm predicted lower intervention-free survival (P = .005). However, this was not predictive of mortality (P = .08). Maximum aortic diameter along the length of the aorta >44 mm persisted as a risk factor for mortality (P < .001). Neither maximum ascending aortic diameter >40.8 mm (hazard ratio [HR], 1.09; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.42-2.83; P = .85) nor area >12.1 cm (HR, 0.992; 95% CI, 0.38-2.61; P = .99) significantly predicted mortality when controlling for maximum aortic diameter along the length of the aorta >44 mm (HR, 7.34; 95% CI, 2.3-23.41; P < .001), diabetes mellitus (HR, 6.4; 95% CI, 2.17-18.93; P < .001), age (HR, 1.06/y; 95% CI, 1.03-1.10; P < .001), history of stroke (HR, 5.03; 95% CI, 1.52-16.63; P = .008), and syncope on admission (HR, 21.11; 95% CI, 2.3-193.84; P = .007). Ascending aortic diameter >40.8 mm (HR, 2.01; 95% CI, 1.03-3.95; P = .04) and maximum ascending aortic area >12.1 cm (HR, 1.988; 95% CI, 1.02-3.87; P = .04) on admission persisted as predictors of decreased intervention-free survival after controlling for maximum aortic diameter along the length of the aorta >44 mm (HR, 3.142; 95% CI, 1.47-6.83; P < .004), syncope on admission (HR, 26.3; 95% CI, 2.81-246; P < .004), and pleural effusion on admission (HR, 3.02; 95% CI, 1.58-5.77; P < .001).

Conclusions: uATBAD patients with ascending aortic area >12.1 cm or maximum ascending aortic diameter >40.8 mm are at high risk for development of subsequent arch and proximal progression and may require closer follow-up or earlier intervention. Ascending aortic size (diameter and area) is predictive of decreased intervention-free survival in patients with uATBAD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2018.07.048DOI Listing
April 2019

Thoracic Endovascular Aortic Repair for Aneurysm: How I Teach It.

Ann Thorac Surg 2018 09 17;106(3):646-650. Epub 2018 Jul 17.

Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), Houston, Texas. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2018.06.014DOI Listing
September 2018

Preoperative Sarcopenia Portends Worse Outcomes After Descending Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm Repair.

Ann Thorac Surg 2018 11 23;106(5):1333-1339. Epub 2018 Jun 23.

Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) and Memorial Hermann Hospital, Houston, Texas. Electronic address:

Background: Sarcopenia may be an indicator of frailty. We used the total psoas area index (TPAI) to identify sarcopenia and evaluated the effect of preoperative TPAI on outcomes after descending thoracic aortic aneurysm (DTAA) repair.

Methods: Patients with DTAA between 2007 and 2015 who were undergoing thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) and open surgical repair (OSR) with available preoperative imaging were analyzed. Sarcopenia was defined as TPAI <6.5cm/m. An adverse event was defined as the composite endpoint of three or more multisystem complications, discharge to other than home, or death within 30 days.

Results: A total of 282 of 386 DTAA repairs had imaging available for TPAI measurements; 71 of 282 (25%) patients underwent TEVAR, and 211 of 282 (75%) underwent OSR. Preoperative sarcopenia was similar in the two groups (OSR, 57% vs TEVAR, 48%, p = 0.188). Risk factors for sarcopenia were age >70 years, female sex, and large body surface area, whereas heritable thoracic aortic disease was a protective factor. OSR-treated patients with sarcopenia were older compared with patients without sarcopenia (p < 0.001), whereas TEVAR-treated patients had a similar age category distribution (p = 0.187). Patients with sarcopenia had significantly increased adverse events compared with patients who did not have sarcopenia in both groups (sarcopenia-TEVAR, 41% vs nonsarcopenia-TEVAR, 16%, p = 0.020; sarcopenia-OSR, 49% vs nonsarcopenia-OSR, 32%, p = 0.012). Determinants of long-term mortality were increasing age (parameter estimate [PE], 0.06, p < 0.001), TPAI as a decreasing linear function (PE, 0.36, p = 0.003), OSR (PE, 2.92, p = 0.003), and interaction between OSR and TPAI (PE, -0.34, p = 0.010). The interaction term showed that OSR increases long-term mortality risk in more sarcopenic patients.

Conclusions: Preoperative sarcopenia significantly correlated with postoperative adverse events and long-term mortality after DTAA repair. If anatomically feasible, TEVAR should be considered in sarcopenic patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2018.05.060DOI Listing
November 2018

Risk of Mortality After Resolution of Spinal Malperfusion in Acute Dissection.

Ann Thorac Surg 2018 08 17;106(2):473-481. Epub 2018 Mar 17.

Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, Texas; Memorial Hermann Heart & Vascular Institute, Texas Medical Center, Houston, Texas. Electronic address:

Background: Spinal cord ischemia (SCI) may develop in patients presenting with acute aortic dissection. We sought to determine how SCI and its recovery affect outcomes.

Methods: We reviewed patients with SCI in acute type A aortic dissection (ATAAD) and acute type B aortic dissection (ATBAD) from September 1999 to May 2014. SCI was defined as paraplegia or paraparesis present on admission. Monoparesis/plegia, paraesthesia, or numbness was defined as ischemic neuropathy. All ATBAD patients were managed with antiimpulse therapy, with selective intervention for rupture, rapid aortic expansion, malperfusion, or intractable pain. ATAAD patients were managed with urgent proximal aortic replacement.

Results: Neurologic symptoms were present in 178 (18.2%) of 978 acute dissections (482 ATAAD and 496 ATBAD). Of these 178 patients, SCI presented in 52 patients (29.2%; 80.1% male; mean age, 57 years). On admission paraplegia was present in 24 (46.2%), paraparesis in 10 (19.2%), paresthesia/numbness in 27 (51.9%), and leg ischemia in 25 (48.1%). Aortic operations were performed in 27 SCI patients (51.9%). Symptom resolution was seen in 30 (57.7%). The 30-day mortality was 19.2% and was significantly less in those with resolution of SCI (6.7% vs 36.4%, p = 0.012). When surgical intervention was required in ATBAD with SCI, mortality was 50% (p = 0.039). SCI and symptom resolution significantly affected overall survival. SCI is associated with significantly increased risk of overall mortality (hazard ratio, 2.9; p < 0.001), and SCI resolution completely offsets this risk (hazard ratio, 0.28; p = 0.003). These effects were consistent between ATAAD and ATBAD (p = 0.554).

Conclusions: SCI in acute aortic dissection portends a poor prognosis. However, reversal of deficits is associated with a long-term survival outcome comparable to patients unaffected with SCI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2018.02.035DOI Listing
August 2018
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