Outcomes of Upper Extremity Access with Surgical Exposure of the Axillary Artery in Fenestrated and Branched Endovascular Aneurysm Repair

Published:August 09, 2022DOI:


      This study aims to assess the safety of upper extremity access with surgical exposure of the axillary artery in fenestrated and branched endovascular aneurysm repair (F/B-EVAR), evaluating neurological and local complications as well as re-interventions associated with the technique.


      All patients undergoing an F/B-EVAR procedure with surgical exposure of the axillary artery between January 2010 and March 2020 were included in this retrospective single centre study. Endpoints were neurological and access related complications and re-interventions related to the upper extremity access. Complications related to the technique included stroke/transient ischaemic attack, wound infection, peripheral nerve injury, and arterial complications.


      264 patients (192 male, mean age 70 ± 7 years) were included. Upper extremity access was performed over the left axillary artery in 257 (97%) of the cases, and over the right axillary artery in the remaining seven cases. Six (2.2%) patients had early complications related to the arterial access: four with post-operative bleeding and two with acute arm ischaemia. Two patients with post-operative bleeding and both patients with ischaemic complications required re-intervention. One of these patients with arm ischaemia died five weeks after the re-intervention due to sepsis complications related to patch infection. Sixteen (6%) patients presented with transient arm paraesthesia or sensory neurological deficit post-operatively. The symptoms completely recovered in all cases with no residual deficits. Peri-operative ischaemic stroke occurred in three (1%) patients (two minor, one major). No other access related complications were recorded during follow up in any of the patients with no cases of late stenosis/occlusion.


      Upper extremity access with surgical exposure of the axillary artery is a safe method for antegrade catheterisation of fenestrations and branches in complex endovascular aneurysm repair.


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      Linked Article

      • We Can Go Up, and We Can Go Down, But Does It Really Matter Anyway?
        European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular SurgeryVol. 64Issue 4
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          Catheterisation of downward directional branches and target vessels represents a major technical challenge when performing fenestrated and branched endovascular repair (F/B-EVAR) of thoraco-abdominal aortic aneurysms (TAAAs). Multiple methods for accessing these vessels are currently employed, including percutaneous and surgical approaches to the axillary/brachial arteries, as well as cannulation from a femoral approach using directional sheaths.
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