Delayed Endovascular Repair With Procedural Anticoagulation: A Safe Strategy for Blunt Aortic Injury

Published:March 02, 2022DOI:


      Blunt aortic injury (BAI) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) are the leading causes of death after blunt trauma. The purposes of this study were to identify predictors of mortality for BAI and to examine the impact of procedural heparinization during thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) on neurologic outcomes in patients with BAI/TBI.


      Patients with BAI were identified over an 8 year period. Age, gender, severity of injury and shock, time to TEVAR, morbidity, and mortality were recorded and compared. Multivariable logistic regression (MLR) was performed to determine independent predictors of mortality. Youden's index determined optimal time to TEVAR.


      A total of 129 patients were identified. The majority (74%) were male with a median age and injury severity score (ISS) of 40 years and 29, respectively. Of these, 26 (20%) had a concomitant TBI. Patients with BAI/TBI had higher injury burden at presentation (ISS 37 vs. 29, P = 0.002; Glasgow Coma Scale [GCS] 6 vs. 15, P < 0.0001), underwent fewer TEVAR procedures (31 vs. 53%, P = 0.039), and suffered increased mortality (39 vs. 16%, P = 0.009). All TEVARs had procedural anticoagulation, including patients with TBI, without change in neurologic function. The optimal time to TEVAR was 14.8 hr. Mortality increased in TEVAR patients before 14.8 hr (8.7 vs. 0%, P = 0.210). MLR identified TEVAR as the only modifiable factor that reduced mortality (odds ratio 0.11; 95% confidence interval 0.03–0.45, P = 0.002).


      TEVAR use was identified as the only modifiable predictor of reduced mortality in patients with BAI. Delayed TEVAR with the use of procedural heparin provides a safe option regardless of TBI with improved survival and no difference in discharge neurologic function.
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