Midterm outcomes in patients undergoing endovascular repair of thoracic aortic aneurysms and penetrating atherosclerotic ulcers using the RelayPlus stent graft

M. Malas
S. Locham
C. Hughes
M. Bacharach
D. Brinster, Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell
J. McKinsey
K. Mannava
J. Wu
S. Rahimi
M. Sharafuddin


© 2020 Society for Vascular Surgery Background: The Relay Thoracic Stent-Graft with Plus Delivery System (RelayPlus; Terumo Aortic, Sunrise, Fla) was designed to handle the curvature and tortuosity of the thoracic aorta. It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2012; the postapproval study was stopped early because of adequate safety and efficacy data, and no difference was identified in experienced vs first-time users of RelayPlus. The purpose of this study was to report real-world outcomes of patients with thoracic aortic aneurysms and penetrating atherosclerotic ulcers (PAUs) undergoing thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) with RelayPlus. Methods: This is a prospective, multicenter, nonrandomized postapproval study that required the use of novice implanters in the United States. Primary and secondary end points included device-related adverse events (deployment failure, conversion to open repair, endoleaks, migration, rupture, and mortality) and major adverse events (stroke, paraplegia/paraparesis, renal failure, respiratory failure, and myocardial infarction), respectively. Continuous and categorical covariates were reported in means or medians and percentages, respectively. Kaplan-Meier survival estimates were used to report long-term TEVAR-related mortality, all-cause mortality, and reinterventions at 3 years. Results: A total of 45 patients with mean age (standard deviation [SD]) of 73.5 (±7.20) years were treated for descending thoracic fusiform aneurysm (56%) or saccular aneurysm/PAU (44%). The patients were predominantly white (80.0%) and male (68.9%). Mean (SD) proximal neck, distal neck, and lesion lengths were 38.2 (±37) mm, 42.1 (±28) mm, and 103.8 (±74) mm, respectively. Mean (SD) aneurysm, proximal neck, and distal neck diameters were 53.9 (±13) mm, 31.3 (±4) mm, and 31.7 (±6) mm, respectively. Technical success was 100%. TEVAR-related mortality at 30 days was 4.4%; two patients died postoperatively, one of shock and the second of bilateral hemispheric stroke. No patient in the study had any conversion to open repair or post-TEVAR rupture. Two patients experienced three major adverse events, which included stroke (2.2%), paraplegia (2.2%), and respiratory failure (2.2%) at 30 days. Three-year freedom from TEVAR-related mortality, all-cause mortality, and reinterventions was 95.6%, 84.0%, and 97.2%, respectively. There were two type I endoleaks at 3 years: one type IB associated with no migration or aneurysm sac increase and one type IA associated with caudal migration of proximal neck and expansion of the proximal aorta. Conclusions: The RelayPlus postapproval study reported low operative mortality and morbidity and supported use of the device as a safe and effective thoracic aortic aneurysm and PAU endovascular treatment. Early midterm follow-up showed sustained freedom from TEVAR-related mortality in real-world practice. Follow-up continues to evaluate the durability of this endograft.