Kinking of Frozen Elephant Trunk Hybrid Prostheses: Incidence, Mechanism, and Management

Kayali, Fatima, Qutaishat, Sara, Jubouri, Matti, Chikhal, Rohan, Tan, Sven Z. C. P. and Bashir, Mohamad (2022) Kinking of Frozen Elephant Trunk Hybrid Prostheses: Incidence, Mechanism, and Management. Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine, 9 .

[thumbnail of Version of record]
PDF (Version of record) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.


Official URL:


Kinking of the Frozen Elephant Trunk (FET) stent graft is one of the most devastating complications of the FET procedure. It can present post-operatively with reduced arterial pressures in the lower limbs and intermittent claudication. However, it can also be visualized intra-operatively by the surgeons. Unresolved kinking of the stent graft can result in intraluminal thrombus formation and subsequent multi-organ septic emboli.

The main scope of this review is to collate, summarize and present all the evidence in the literature on kinking of FET stent grafts.

We carried out a comprehensive literature search on multiple electronic databases including PubMed, EMBASE, Ovid, and Scopus to collate all research evidence on the incidence, mechanism, and management of FET graft kinking.

Incidence of kinking is variable, ranging from 0% to 8% in the literature, with varying rates associated with each stent graft type. The Thoraflex HybridTM prosthesis seemed to be the most commonly used and superior graft, and out of all the 15 cases of kinking reported in the literature, 5 (33.3%) were associated with just the Frozenix graft which had the highest incidence. There are multiple theories regarding the mechanism of kinking, including the direction of blood flow, the length of the stent grafts used, and the position of the prosthesis in relation to the flexure of the aorta. Multiple reparative management techniques have been suggested in the literature and include total endovascular repair, open repair, balloon dilatation, and deploying a second stent graft.

Graft kinking is one of the most critical complications of the FET technique. Its life-threatening sequelae warrant appropriate follow-up of these patients post-operatively, in addition to time management if kinking is suspected. Given the limited evidence in the literature, future studies should incorporate graft kinking into their outcomes reporting.

Repository Staff Only: item control page