Use of covered stent grafts as treatment of traumatic venous injury to the inferior vena cava and iliac veins: A systematic review

R.R. Smeets*, D. Demir, J. van Laanen, G.W.H. Schurink, B.M.E. Mees

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review


Objective: Venous injury to the inferior vena cava or iliac veins is rare but can result in high mortality rates. Traditional treatment by repair or ligation can be technically demanding. A relatively new treatment modality is the use of a covered stent to cover the venous defect. The aim of the present systematic review was to assess the techniques, results, and challenges of covered stent graft repair of traumatic injury to the inferior vena cava and iliac veins.Methods: The PubMed (Medline) and Embase databases were systematically searched up to September 2020 by two of us (R.R.S. and D.D.) independently for studies reporting on covered stenting of the inferior vena cava or iliac veins after traumatic or iatrogenic injury. A methodologic quality assessment was performed using the modified Newcastle-Ottawa scale. Data were extracted for the following parameters: first author, year of publication, study design, number of patients, type and diameter of the stent graft, hemostatic success, complications, mortality, postoperative medication, follow-up type and duration, and venous segment patency. The main outcome was clinical success of the intervention, defined as direct hemostasis, with control of hemorrhage, hemodynamic recovery, and absence of contrast extravasation.Results: From the initial search, which yielded 1884 records, a total of 28 studies were identified for analysis. All reports consisted of case reports, except for one retrospective cohort study and one case series. A total of 35 patients had been treated with various covered stent grafts, predominantly thoracic or abdominal aortic endografts. In all patients, the treatment was technically successful. The 30-day mortality rate for the entire series was 2.9%. Three perioperative complications were described: one immediate stent occlusion, one partial thrombosis, and one pulmonary embolism. Additional in-stent thrombus formation was seen during follow-up in three patients, leading to one stent graft occlusion (asymptomatic). The postoperative anticoagulation strategy was highly heterogeneous. The median follow-up was 3 months (range, 0.1-84 months). However, follow-up with imaging studies was not performed in all cases.Conclusions: In selected cases of injury to the inferior vena cava and iliac veins, covered stent grafts can be successful for urgent hemostasis with good short-term results. Data on long-term follow-up are very limited.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1577-1587.e1
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery: Venous and Lymphatic Disorders
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021


  • Hemorrhage
  • Iliac vein
  • Inferior vena cava
  • Injury
  • Stents


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