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Ann Thorac Surg. 1997 Nov;64(5):1339-44.

Prosthesis for aortic arch substitution.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Pavia, Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico San Matteo, Italy.



The risk of neurologic complications in aortic arch prosthetic substitution is directly related to the duration of the circulatory arrest. The purpose of this article is to report the experiments on animals of a device for simplifying and quickening the vascular anastomosis in aortic arch substitution.


The device consists of expandable loops of stainless steel wire, sewn to the proximal end of a Dacron prosthesis. An actuating removable guide allows the stainless steel wire loops to be expanded and tightened, in such a way that the prosthesis diameter is varied, while maintaining a regular cylindric shape. The prosthesis end is then transformed into a rigid cylindrical ring, approximately half the maximal diameter in length, with a variable and controllable diameter. A composite graft was prepared, fitted with the expandable device at the distal end of the main prosthesis as well as at each end of the branches for the supraaortic trunks. Cardiopulmonary bypass was established by cannulation of the right atrium and left iliac artery. The prosthesis was positioned very easily and quickly during a brief hypothermic circulatory arrest; ascending aorta anastomosis was carried out by the standard technique after central nervous system reperfusion was resumed. Acute experiments were carried out in 5 swine.


Four of 5 animals survived the procedure without detectable neurologic sequelae. At sacrifice the prosthesis was found to be properly sited without lumen distortion or thrombosis.


The main advantages of this device and modality of arch substitution in a clinical setting would include drastic reduction of the circulatory arrest time, easy and reliable hemostasis of the anastomosis line, and accurate and firm approximation of the dissection layers in case of dissecting aneurysms.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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