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Purpose To report the use of a technique (AFTER: aortic false lumen thrombosis induction by embolotherapy) to achieve false lumen (FL) thrombosis and aortic remodeling in patients with residual FL patency after initial endovascular repair of aortic dissection. Methods Between January 2003 and January 2010, 31 patients underwent staged total aortic and branch vesselendovascular reconstruction (STABLE) of type A (n = 13) and type B (n = 18) dissection. Of these, 10 patients (5 men; mean age 61 years) who had undergone repair of 4 acute type A, 3 acute type B, and 3 chronic type B dissections demonstrated re-entry tear(s) and FL patency associated with aortic expansion ≥5 mm or flow into a persistently dilated aortic segment. Catheter-directed embolization using coils, glue, or occlusion balloons was performed via a transfemoral approach to the true lumen at a mean of 7 months (range < 1 to 26) after initial repair. Results Technical success was achieved in all patients, with no intraoperative complications. Thirty-day morbidity and mortality was nil. Mean follow-up was 63 months (range 13–96). Reversal or stabilization ( < 5-mm increase) of thoracoabdominal aortic growth occurred in 9 patients. Complete thrombosis of the thoracic and abdominal FL occurred in 2 patients. In 4, FL occlusion and subsequent thrombosis of the upstream thoracic segment was achieved. Four demonstrated partial FL thrombosis in the thoracic and abdominal aorta. One patient with chronic aneurysmal type B dissection died 4 months post-embolization from aortic rupture. Conclusion The AFTER strategy appears to be a safe and promising adjunctive endovascular approach to treat residual FL patency or aortic enlargement post endovascular repair of aortic dissection. Elimination of FL flow and stabilization of aortic expansion may reduce the risk of late distal aortic complications.

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