The purpose of this study was to determine whether thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) reduces death and morbidity compared with open surgical repair for descending thoracic aortic disease.
The role of TEVAR versus open surgery remains unclear. Metaregression can be used to maximally inform adoption of new technologies by utilizing evidence from existing trials.
Data from comparative studies of TEVAR versus open repair of the descending aorta were combined through meta-analysis. Metaregression was performed to account for baseline risk factor imbalances, study design, and thoracic pathology. Due to significant heterogeneity, registry data were analyzed separately from comparative studies.
Forty-two nonrandomized studies involving 5,888 patients were included (38 comparative studies, 4 registries). Patient characteristics were balanced except for age, as TEVAR patients were usually older than open surgery patients (p = 0.001). Registry data suggested overall perioperative complications were reduced. In comparative studies, all-cause mortality at 30 days (odds ratio [OR]: 0.44, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.33 to 0.59) and paraplegia (OR: 0.42, 95% CI: 0.28 to 0.63) were reduced for TEVAR versus open surgery. In addition, cardiac complications, transfusions, reoperation for bleeding, renal dysfunction, pneumonia, and length of stay were reduced. There was no significant difference in stroke, myocardial infarction, aortic reintervention, and mortality beyond 1 year. Metaregression to adjust for age imbalance, study design, and pathology did not materially change the results.
Current data from nonrandomized studies suggest that TEVAR may reduce early death, paraplegia, renal insufficiency, transfusions, reoperation for bleeding, cardiac complications, pneumonia, and length of stay compared with open surgery. Sustained benefits on survival have not been proven.