Off the Shelf Thoracic Endovascular Aortic Repair with Sandwich Technique for the Treatment of a Thoraco-Abdominal Penetrating Aortic Ulcer

Tiago F Ribeiro, Nelson Camacho, Rita S Ferreira, Frederico Bastos Gonçalves, Maria Emília Ferreira

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Introduction: Penetrating aortic ulcers (PAUs) are the rarest subset of acute aortic syndromes, and a thoraco-abdominal (TA) location is uncommon. Endovascular surgery is considered first line treatment. Custom made branched/fenestrated endografts have been successfully applied in this disease but are unavailable in the urgent setting. Off the shelf solutions may be required in high risk patients. The case of a symptomatic rapidly expanding TA-PAU without a distal seal zone that underwent urgent endovascular repair is described.

Report: An 81 year old male presented with acute intense thoracic pain. Workup revealed a large TA-PAU. As pain was refractory and computed tomography angiography confirmed rapid expansion, urgent repair was proposed. Due to multiple comorbidities and absence of adequate distal seal zone, an off label endovascular treatment was proposed. The patient underwent successful endovascular repair with two aortic stent grafts (GORE cTAG) with 30% oversize and 50-55 mm overlap between modules, combined with chimney self expanding stent grafts (GORE VIABAHN) to the coeliac trunk and superior mesenteric artery in a sandwich configuration. The post-operative course was uneventful. Follow up at 18 months revealed no endoleaks and patent bridging stent grafts without visceral compromise.

Discussion: Thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) is considered the first treatment option for urgent PAU. However, anatomic requirements limit its use in the thoraco-abdominal aorta. Parallel graft techniques have been described to overcome these anatomic constraints in TA aneurysms. The use of a "sandwich technique" to successfully exclude a PAU without a distal sealing zone for standard TEVAR is described. The advantage was limited aortic coverage compared with a branched device or an "octopus" technique. This solution is particularly useful in urgent situations when patients cannot wait for a custom made device and the morbidity associated with open or hybrid repair is unacceptably high. An off the shelf sandwich technique is a potential safe and long lasting therapeutic option for the urgent treatment of TA-PAU.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-63
Number of pages3
JournalEJVES Vascular Forum
Publication statusPublished - 22 Apr 2022


  • Endovascular techniques
  • Thoracic aorta
  • Vascular surgical procedu


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