OBJECTIVES: We sought to analyze the collected worldwide experience with use of snorkel/chimney endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) for complex abdominal aneurysm treatment.
BACKGROUND: EVAR has largely replaced open surgery worldwide for anatomically suitable aortic aneurysms. Lack of availability of fenestrated and branched devices has encouraged an alternative strategy utilizing parallel or snorkel/chimney grafts (ch-EVAR).
METHODS: Clinical and radiographic information was retrospectively reviewed and analyzed on 517 patients treated by ch-EVAR from 2008 from 2014 by prearranged defined and documented protocols.
RESULTS: A total of 119 patients in US centers and 398 in European centers were treated during the study period. US centers preferentially used Zenith stent-grafts (54.2%) and European centers Endurant stent-grafts (62.2%) for the main body component. Overall 898 chimney grafts (49.2% balloon expandable, 39.6% self-expanding covered stents, and 11.2% balloon expandable bare metal stents) were placed in 692 renal arteries, 156 superior mesenteric arteries (SMA), and 50 celiac arteries. At a mean follow-up of 17.1 months (range: 1-70 months), primary patency was 94%, with secondary patency of 95.3%. Overall survival of patients in this high-risk cohort for open repair at latest follow-up was 79%.
CONCLUSIONS: This global experience represents the largest series in the ch-EVAR literature and demonstrates comparable outcomes to those in published reports of branched/fenestrated devices, suggesting the appropriateness of broader applicability and the need for continued careful surveillance. These results support ch-EVAR as a valid off-the-shelf and immediately available alternative in the treatment of complex abdominal EVAR and provide impetus for the standardization of these techniques in the future.