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PURPOSE: This article aims at investigating the outcomes of percutaneous access via the first versus third axillary artery (AXA) segments with closure devices during aortic procedures. MATERIALS AND METHODS: All patients receiving percutaneous AXA access closed with Perclose ProGlide device (Abbott, Santa Clara, California) from 2008 to 2021 were included in a retrospective multicenter registry (NCT: 04589962). Efficacy endpoint was the technically successful percutaneous procedure (no open conversion). Safety endpoints were stroke and access complications according to the Valve Academic Research Consortium-3 reporting standards. The first (AXA1) or third (AXA3) axillary puncture sites were compared. RESULTS: A total of 412 percutaneous AXA accesses were included: 172 (42%) in AXA1 and 240 (58%) in AXA3. Left AXA was catheterized in 363 cases (76% of AXA1 vs 97% of AXA3, p<0.001) and 91% of fenestrated/branched endovascular repair (F/BEVAR) procedures were conducted from the left. A ≥12F internal diameter (ID) sheath was used in 49% of procedures. Open conversion rate was 1%, no major vascular complications occurred, and only one major non-vascular complication was recorded. Primary closure failure occurred in 18 AXA1 (11%) and 32 AXA3 accesses (13%), treated by covered (8.3%) or bare-metal (2.7%) stenting. Bailout stent patency was 100% at median follow-up of 12 months, with 6 of 6 stents still patent after >36 months of follow-up. Stroke rate was 4.4%. An introducer sheath >12F was independently associated with both access complications (p<0.001) and stroke (p=0.005), while a right-side access was associated with stroke only (p=0.034). Even after adjustment for covariates, AXA1 versus AXA3 showed an equal success rate (odds ratio [OR]=0.537, 95% confidence interval [CI]=0.011-1.22 for AXA3, p=0.104). The combination of AXA3 and a >10F introducer sheath provided worse outcomes compared with >10F sheaths through AXA1 (OR for success=0.367, 95% CI=0.176-0.767, p=0.008). This was not confirmed for >12F sheaths, associated with similar outcomes (p=0.31 AXA 1 vs AXA 3). CONCLUSION: Major local complications with the percutaneous axillary approach and ≤12F sheaths are infrequent and solvable by complementary endovascular interventions. Stroke risk remains an issue. First and third AXA segments are both amenable for access with good results, but larger sheaths (12F) perform better in AXA1. CLINICAL IMPACT: Percutaneous access with vascular closure devices at the first or third axillary artery (AXA) segments during aortic procedures is burdened by a negligible risk of open conversion. Local complications with the percutaneous axillary approach are infrequent and solvable by complementary endovascular interventions. First and third AXA segments are both amenable to access with excellent results, but larger sheaths (12F) perform better in the wider first AXA segment. In this setting, bailout stenting does not appear to be associated with mid-term stent occlusion.

Original publication




Journal article


J Endovasc Ther

Publication Date



aortic aneurysm, axillary artery, endovascular aneurysm repair, percutaneous closure device, thoracoabdominal aorta, upper extremity access