Aggressive Surveillance Is Needed to Detect Endoleaks and Junctional Separation between Device Components after Zenith Fenestrated Aortic Reconstruction

Shihuan Keisin Wang, Gary W. Lemmon, Alok K. Gupta, Michael C. Dalsing, Alan P. Sawchuk, Raghu L. Motaganahalli, Michael P. Murphy, Andres Fajardo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Junctional separation and resulting type IIIa endoleak is a well-known problem after EVAR (endovascular aneurysm repair). This complication results in sac pressurization, enlargement, and eventual rupture. In this manuscript, we review the incidence of this late finding in our experience with the Cook Zenith fenestrated endoprosthesis (ZFEN, Bloomington, IN). Methods: A retrospective review was performed of a prospectively maintained institutional ZFEN fenestrated EVAR database capturing all ZFENs implanted at a large-volume, academic hospital system. Patients who experienced junctional separation between the fenestrated main body and distal bifurcated graft (with or without type IIIa endoleak) at any time after initial endoprosthesis implantation were subject to further evaluation of imaging and medical records to abstract clinical courses. Results: In 110 ZFENs implanted from October 2012 to December 2017 followed for a mean of 1.5 years, we observed a 4.5% and 2.7% incidence of clinically significant junctional separation and type IIIa endoleak, respectively. Junctional separation was directly related to concurrent type Ib endoleak in all 5 patients. Three patients presented with sac enlargement. One patient did not demonstrate any evidence of clinically significant endoleak and had a decreasing sac size during follow-up imaging. The mean time to diagnosis of modular separation in these patients was 40 months. Junctional separation was captured in surveillance in 2 patients and reintervened upon before manifestation of endoleak. However, the remaining 3 patients completed modular separation resulting in rupture and emergent intervention in 2 and an aortic-related mortality in the other. Conclusions: Junctional separation between the fenestrated main and distal bifurcated body with the potential for type IIIa endoleak is an established complication associated with the ZFEN platform. Therefore, we advocate for maximizing aortic overlap during the index procedure followed by aggressive surveillance and treatment of stent overlap loss captured on imaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-136
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Vascular Surgery
StatePublished - May 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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