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Ann Thorac Surg. 2012 May;93(5):1502-8. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2012.01.106. Epub 2012 Apr 4.

What is the best strategy for brain protection in patients undergoing aortic arch surgery? A single center experience of 636 patients.

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1
Department of Cardiac Surgery, Heart Center, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Cerebral protection during aortic arch surgery can be performed using various surgical strategies. We retrospectively analyzed our results of different brain protection modalities during aortic arch surgery.

METHODS:

Between January 2003 and November 2009, 636 consecutive patients underwent aortic arch replacement surgery using unilateral antegrade cerebral perfusion (UACP [n=123]), bilateral antegrade cerebral perfusion (BACP [n=242]), retrograde cerebral perfusion (RCP [n=51]), or deep hypothermia and circulatory arrest (DHCA [n=220]). Mean age of patients was 62±14 years, 64% were male, 15% were reoperations, and 37% were performed for acute type A dissections. Mean follow-up was 4.9±0.1 years and was 97% complete.

RESULTS:

Circulatory arrest time was 22±17 minutes UACP, 23±21 minutes BACP, 18±12 minutes RCP, and 15±13 minutes DHCA; p<0.001). Early mortality was 11% (n=72) and was not different between the surgical groups. Stroke rate was 9% for ACP patients (n=33) versus 15% (n=39) for patients who did not receive ACP (p=0.035). Independent predictors of stroke were type A aortic dissection (odds ratio [OR], 1.9; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.3 to 3.2; p<0.001), age (OR, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.01 to 1.06; p=0.001), duration of circulatory arrest (OR, 1.01, 95% CI, 1.002 to 1.03; p=0.02), and total aortic arch replacement (OR, 2.7; 95% CI, 1.3 to 5.7; p=0.005). Five year survival was 68%±4% and was not significantly different between groups.

CONCLUSIONS:

Antegrade cerebral perfusion is associated with significantly less neurologic complications than RCP and DHCA, despite longer circulatory arrest times. Medium-term survival is worse for patients with postoperative permanent neurologic deficit and preoperative type A aortic dissection.

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