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Tex Heart Inst J. 2002;29(1):56-9.

Improved device for sutureless aortic anastomosis applied in a case of cancer.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Pavia, IRCCS San Matteo, Italy.


To reduce the time needed for clamping or circulatory arrest (or both) during substitution of a prosthesis for the thoracic aorta, we developed an expandable device that can be used with any commercially available prosthetic graft to enable sutureless aortic anastomosis. Improvements upon a previous version of the device include the use of nickel-titanium alloy (Nitinol) instead of stainless steel. This, together with an improved wire-looping design, now enables continuous control of diameter, even when the device is in contact with blood. A further improvement consists of 4 metallic hooks on the outer surface, which enable firm fixation to the aortic stump. In March 2001, a 47-year-old man was admitted to our institution for evaluation of left upper-lobe bronchogenic adenocarcinoma that had infiltrated the distal aortic arch and upper descending aorta. Re-staging of the neoplasm ruled out distant metastasis. We resected the infiltrated aortic wall en bloc with the upper lobe. The expandable device enabled the distal anastomosis of the aortic prosthesis to be performed easily, in less than 3 minutes. The main advantages of this device are an easier, quicker anastomosis and the absolute prevention of suture-line hemorrhage (no suture line). The expandable device overcomes the drawbacks of the intraluminal ringed prosthesis used in the past.

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