Treatment options for traumatic pseudoaneurysms of the paravisceral abdominal aorta.

Research paper by Sonny S Tucker, Vincent L VL Rowe, Rajeev R Rao, Douglas B DB Hood, Donald D Harrell, Fred A FA Weaver

Indexed on: 13 Jul '05Published on: 13 Jul '05Published in: Annals of Vascular Surgery


Penetrating gunshot wounds (GSWs) to the abdominal aorta are frequently lethal. Alternative management options for treatment of traumatic pseudoaneurysms of the abdominal aorta are illustrated by three patient case histories. Patient A sustained two GSWs to the abdomen (midepigastrium, right subcostal region). He was hypotensive in the field. Emergent laparotomy was undertaken with suture ligature of a celiac injury and distal pancreatectomy/splenectomy for a pancreatic injury. Postoperative abdominal CT for an intraabdominal infection with leukocytosis revealed a 4 cm traumatic pseudoaneurysm of the abdominal aorta that extended from the suprarenal aorta to the level of the renal arteries. Six weeks later, he underwent an open repair. Patient B sustained multiple GSWs to his right arm and right upper quadrant. He was hemodynamically stable. He underwent abdominal exploration for a grade 3 liver laceration. Postoperative abdominal CT revealed a supraceliac abdominal aortic pseudoaneurysm. An aortogram demonstrated a 1.5 cm defect in the aortic wall above the celiac trunk communicating with the inferior vena cava (IVC). He underwent endovascular repair with covered aortic stent graft. Patient C sustained multiple thoracoabdominal GSWs. He was hemodynamically stable. Emergent laparotomy revealed multiple left colonic perforations, two duodenal lacerations, and an unsalvageable left kidney laceration. Postoperatively, he developed a duodenal-cutaneous fistula with multiple intraabdominal abscesses. Serial CT scans revealed an enlarging infrarenal aortic pseudoaneurysm. He underwent angiographic coil embolization and intraarterial injection of thrombin into the pseudoaneurysm sac. The average time from injury to surgical treatment was 46 days (range 29-67). Postoperatively, none of the patients developed paraplegia. Advances in endovascular techniques have provided options to deal with traumatic pseudoaneurysms of the abdominal aorta. In a hemodynamically stable patient with a traumatic pseudoaneurysm, careful selection of a specific intervention can be tailored to the clinical scenario electively.