A Single Center Review of a Total Transfemoral Approach to Upper Extremity Access in Branched and Fenestrated Physician Modified Endografts


      • Transfemoral approach to visceral vessels in PMEGs can have operative advantages.
      • Transfemoral approach to visceral vessels in PMEGs can have clinical outcome advantages.
      • Single-center retrospective review of prospectively collected data.
      • When technically feasible, a transfemoral approach should be considered.


      Aortic aneurysms are normally treated by an endovascular approach. Due to the lack of devices and increasing experience, there is a growing number of complex aneurysms undergoing repair by physician modified endografts (PMEGs). Previously, our practice was to target visceral vessels exclusively through upper extremity access. We have since then shifted to an all transfemoral approach when possible. This study aims to show the operative benefits of transfemoral only approaches.


      Patients who underwent a PMEG at a tertiary center between 2015 and 2020 were included. Patients were stratified into 2 groups based on branched vessel approach–transfemoral only versus axillary or composite (axillary and femoral). Forty-one patients had a pararenal or type IV thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm (TAAA) and 15 patients had more complex TAAA. Primary outcomes were operative time, radiation exposure, fluoroscopy time, contrast, and blood loss. Secondary outcomes were 30-day mortality and major adverse events. Linear regression models were used to evaluate the association between approach type and the main outcomes.


      Fifty-six patients were included with 48% (n = 27) in the transfemoral group and 52% (n = 29) in the axillary/composite group. Baseline characteristics were similar between the groups. Intraoperative outcomes revealed significant increase in the average operative time (418 vs. 246 min, P < 0.001), in radiation exposure (2,755 vs. 1,740 mGy, P = 0.03), in fluoroscopy time (108 vs. 74 min, P = 0.01) and in blood loss (579 vs. 202 cc, P = 0.002) in the axillary/composite group compared to the transfemoral group. There was no significant difference in 30-day mortality or major adverse events including stroke.


      This study shows a transfemoral approach to complex endovascular aortic aneurysm repair as opposed to axillary/composite approach has decreased operative time, radiation exposure, and fluoroscopy time and no significant differences in 30-day mortality or major adverse events. When treating complex aneurysms, improving efficiency is important to minimize morbidity to patients and operators.
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