PURPOSE: Using the data delivered by the German Trauma Register DGU® from 2002 till 2013, the value of different therapies of blunt thoracic aortic injury (BTAI) in Germany was analyzed.
METHODS: Prospectively collected data of patients suffering from BTAI were retrospectively analyzed with focus on the different treatment modalities for grade I-IV injuries.
RESULTS: 821 patients suffering from BTAI were identified: 51.6% (424) grade I injury, 35.4% (291) grade II or III injury and 12.9% (106) grade IV injury (77.5% men [44.94 ± 20.6 years]). The main patterns of injury were high- speed accidents and falls (78.0% [n = 640], 21.8% [n = 171] respectively). Significant differences between grade I and grade II/III as well as IV injuries could be assessed for the incidence of cardiopulmonary resuscitation, a Glasgow Coma Scale score below 8 and a systolic blood pressure below 90 mmHg (p-value: <0.001). In the primary admission subgroup, 44.1% (197/447) of the patients received best medical treatment, 55.9% received surgical intervention (250/447): Thereof 37.2% (93/250) received open surgery and 62.8% (147/250) had been treated by endovascular means. Significantly lower 24-h- and in-hospital-mortality rates were encountered after endovascular treatment for all gradings of BTAI (p-value: <0.001). Yet this subgroup of patients showed the lowest incidence of further severe injuries and cardiac arrest.
CONCLUSION: Endovascular therapy became the treatment of choice for BTAI in Germany. Patients who have been treated by surgical means showed the highest survival rate, especially endovascular therapy showed a favorable low mortality rate.