Background: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) and blunt thoracic aortic injury (BTAI) are the top two leading causes of death after blunt force trauma. Patients presenting with concomitant BTAI and TBI pose a specific challenge with respect to management strategy, because the optimal hemodynamic parameters are conflicting between the two pathologies. Early thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) is often performed, even for minimal aortic injuries, to allow for the higher blood pressure parameters required for TBI management. However, the optimal timing of TEVAR for the treatment of BTAI in patients with concomitant TBI remains an active matter of controversy. Methods: The Aortic Trauma Foundation international prospective multicenter registry was used to identify all patients who had undergone TEVAR for BTAI in the setting of TBI from 2015 to 2020. The primary outcomes included delayed ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke, in-hospital mortality, and aortic-related mortality. The outcomes were examined among patients who had undergone TEVAR at emergent (<6 vs ≥6 hours) or urgent (<24 vs ≥24 hours) intervals. Results: A total of 100 patients (median age, 43 years; 79% men; median injury severity score, 41) with BTAI (Society for Vascular Surgery BTAI grade 1, 3%; grade 2, 10%; grade 3, 78%; grade 4, 9%) and concomitant TBI who had undergone TEVAR were identified. Emergent repair was performed for 51 patients (51%). Comparing emergent repair (<6 hours) to urgent repair (≥6 hours), no difference was found in delayed cerebral ischemic events (2.0% vs 4.1%; P = .614), in-hospital mortality (15.7% vs 22.4%; P = .389), or aortic-related mortality (2.0% vs 2.0%; P = .996) and no patient had experienced delayed hemorrhagic stroke. Likewise, repairs conducted in an urgent (<24 hours) setting showed no differences compared with those completed in an emergent (≥24 hours) setting regarding delayed ischemic stroke (2.6% vs 4.3%; P = .548), in-hospital mortality (18.2% vs 21.7%; P = .764), or aortic-related mortality (1.3% vs 4.3%; P = .654), and no patient had experienced delayed hemorrhagic stroke. Conclusions: In contrast to prior retrospective efforts, results from the Aortic Trauma Foundation international prospective multicenter registry have demonstrated that neither emergent nor urgent TEVAR for patients with concomitant BTAI and TBI was associated with delayed stroke, in-hospital mortality, or aortic-related mortality. In these patients, the timing of TEVAR did not have an effect on the outcomes. Therefore, the decision to intervene should be guided by individual patient factors rather than surgical timing.
- Blunt thoracic aortic injury
- Thoracic endovascular aortic repair
- Traumatic brain injury
- Vascular injury
- Vascular trauma