Stent graft repair of subclavian and axillary vascular injuries: The Groote Schuur experience

Journal Article


Permanent link to this Item
Journal Title

South African Journal of Surgery

Journal ISSN
Volume Title
BACKGROUND: Trauma-related subclavian and axillary vascular injuries (SAVIs) are generally associated with high morbidity and mortality rates in the surgical literature. There is an emerging trend towards increasing use of stent grafts (covered stents) for repair, with evidence limited to small case series and case reports. OBJECTIVES: To report on the clinical and device-related outcomes of stent graft repair of trauma-related SAVIs at a single institution. METHODS: A retrospective chart review of all patients with trauma-related SAVIs requiring stent graft repair was performed. Outcome measures included technical success, mortality, amputation rate, device-related complications (early and late), and reintervention rates (early and late). RESULTS: A total of 31 patients was identified between June 2008 and October 2013 (30 males, 1 female). Mean age was 27.9 years (range 19-51). All 31 patients sustained a penetrating injury (93.5% stab, 6.5% gunshot injuries). There were 21 subclavian and 10 axillary artery injuries. Five patients (16%) were HIV-positive. Nine patients (29%) were shocked on presentation. Early results (30 days): There were no periprocedural deaths. Primary technical success was 83.9% (26/31). Five patients required adjunctive interventional or operative procedures. There were no early procedure-related complications, reinterventions or open conversions in this study. Overall, suboptimal results were seen in five patients (one type I endoleak and four type II endoleaks). Follow-up results (>30 days): Nineteen patients (61.3%) were available for follow-up. Mean duration of follow-up was 55.7 weeks (range 4 - 240). Overall stent graft patency was 89.5% (17/19). Four patients (21.1%) had an occluded stent graft. Stent graft salvage was possible in two patients. Three type II endoleaks were seen on follow-up. Late reinterventions were performed in five patients (26.3%). Conversion to an open procedure was not required in any patient. There was one late death and one major amputation of a stented limb in a patient who had sustained severe soft-tissue injuries during the follow-up period. CONCLUSION: Perioperative, early and intermediate results suggest that stent graft repair of select trauma-related SAVIs is relatively safe and effective. Axillary arteriovenous fistulas remain a particular challenge using this treatment modality. Larger prospective studies are required to define the utility of stent grafts for select trauma-related SAVIs better.