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Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2015 Feb;47(2):361-6; discussion 366. doi: 10.1093/ejcts/ezu185. Epub 2014 May 14.

Total aortic arch replacement with frozen elephant trunk in acute type A aortic dissections: are we pushing the limits too far?†.

Author information

1
Department of Cardiothoracic, Transplantation and Vascular Surgery, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany shrestha.malakh.lal@mh-hannover.de.
2
Department of Cardiothoracic, Transplantation and Vascular Surgery, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Acute type A aortic dissection (AADA) is a surgical emergency. In patients with aortic arch and descending aorta (DeBakey type I) involvement, performing a total aortic arch replacement with frozen elephant trunk (FET) for supposedly better long-term results is controversial. We hereby present our results.

METHODS:

From February 2004 to August 2013, 52 patients with acute aortic dissection DeBakey type I received a FET procedure at our centre (43 males, age 59.21 ± 11.67 years). All patients had an intimal tear in the aortic arch and/or proximal descending aorta. Concomitant procedures were Bentall (n = 15) and aortic valve repair (n = 30).

RESULTS:

Cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB), X-clamp and cardiac arrest times were 262 ± 64, 159 ± 45 and 55 ± 24 min, respectively. The 30-day mortality rate was 13% (n = 7). Stroke and re-thoracotomy for bleeding were 12% (n = 6) and 23% (n = 12), respectively. Postoperative recurrent nerve palsy and spinal cord injury rates were 10% (5 of 52) and 4% (2 of 52), respectively. Follow-up was 40 ± 24 months. During follow-up, no patient died and no patient required a reoperation for the aortic arch.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our results with FET in AADA show acceptable results. Total aortic arch replacement with an FET in AADA patients does demand high technical skills. In spite of this, we believe FET improves long-term outcomes in cases of AADA with intima tear or re-entry in the aortic arch or the descending aorta (DeBakey type I). Modern grafts with four side branches as well as sewing collars for the distal anastomosis have helped to further 'simplify' the FET implantation. However, such a strategy is not appropriate in all AADA cases; it should be implemented only in experienced centres and only if absolutely necessary.

KEYWORDS:

Acute dissection; Aneurysm; Aortic surgery; Frozen elephant trunk

PMID:
24829403
DOI:
10.1093/ejcts/ezu185
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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