Outcomes of upper extremity access during fenestrated-branched endovascular aortic repair

Aleem K. Mirza, Gustavo S. Oderich, Giuliano A. Sandri, Emanuel R. Tenorio, Victor J. Davila, Jussi M. Kärkkäinen, Jan Hofer, Stephen Cha

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22 Scopus citations


Objective: Upper extremity (UE) access is frequently used during fenestrated-branched endovascular aortic repair (F-BEVAR) to facilitate catheterization of downgoing vessels. Limitations include risk of cerebral embolization and of UE arterial or peripheral nerve injury. The aim of this study was to assess outcomes of F-BEVAR using UE access. Methods: We reviewed the clinical data of 334 consecutive patients (74% males; mean age 75 ± 8 years) treated by F-BEVAR for thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms or pararenal aortic aneurysms between 2007 and 2016. Patients who underwent F-BEVAR with an UE approach for catheterization of the renal and/or mesenteric arteries were included in the study. End points were technical success, mortality, and a composite of access-related complications including cerebral embolization (stroke/transient ischemic attack), peripheral nerve injury, and axillary-brachial arterial complications requiring intervention. Results: There were 243 patients (73%) treated by F-BEVAR with UE access, including 147 patients (60%) with thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms and 96 patients (40%) with pararenal aortic aneurysms. A total of 878 renal–mesenteric arteries were incorporated by fenestrations or branches with a mean of 3.6 ± 0.8 vessels per patient. All patients had surgical exposure of the brachial artery. The left side was selected in 228 (94%) and the right side in 15 (6%). The technical success of target vessel incorporation was achieved in 99% of patients (870 of 878). Arterial closure was performed using primary repair in 213 patients (88%) or bovine patch angioplasty in 29 (12%). Patch closure was required in 13% of patients (21 of 159) treated by 10- to 12F sheaths and 8% (7 of 83) of those who had 7- to 8F sheaths (P = .19). There were six deaths (2.5%) at 30 days or within the hospital stay, none owing to access-related complications. Major access-related complication occurred in eight patients (3%), with no difference between the 10- to 12F (6 of 159 [4%]) or 7- to 8F sheaths (2 of 83 [2%]; P = .45). Two patients (1%) had transient median nerve neuropraxia, which resolved within 1 year. One patient (0.5%) required surgical evacuation of an access site hematoma. There were no UE arterial pseudoaneurysms, occlusions, or distal embolizations. Five patients (2%) had strokes (three minor, two major), occurring more frequently with right side (2 of 15 [13%]) as compared with left-sided access (3 of 228 [1%]; P = .03). After a mean follow-up of 38 ± 15 months, there were no other access-related complications or reinterventions. Conclusions: UE arterial access with surgical exposure was associated with a low rate of complications in patients treated with F-BEVAR. Closure with patch angioplasty is frequently needed, but there were no arterial occlusions, pseudoaneurysms, or distal embolizations requiring secondary procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)635-643
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of vascular surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2019


  • Cerebral embolization
  • Upper extremity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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