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J Vasc Surg. 1998 Apr;27(4):745-9.

Mesenteric shunting decreases visceral ischemia during thoracoabdominal aneurysm repair.

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Division of Vascular Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston 02114, USA.



A technique to decrease visceral ischemic time during thoracoabdominal aneurysm (TAA) repair is reported.


A 10 mm Dacron side-arm graft is attached to the aortic prosthesis and positioned immediately distal to the planned proximal thoracic aortic anastomosis. On completion of the anastomosis, a 16 to 22 Fr perfusion catheter is attached to the side-arm graft and inserted into the orifice of the celiac axis or superior mesenteric artery. The cross-clamp is then placed on the aortic graft distal to the mesenteric side-arm graft. Pulsatile arterial perfusion is thus established to the visceral circulation while intercostal anastomoses or reconstruction of celiac, superior mesenteric, and right renal arteries is performed. Visceral ischemic time and the rise in end-tidal Pco2 after reconstruction of the visceral vessels in patients with mesenteric shunting was compared with a control group matched for aneurysm extent and treated immediately before use of the mesenteric shunt technique.


Between July and Oct, 1996, the technique was applied in 15 patients undergoing type I, II, or III TAA repair with a clamp and sew technique. The mean decrease in systolic arterial pressure was 12.5 +/- 8.5 mm Hg, with a concomitant rise in end-tidal Pco2 (mean, 6.9 +/- 5.8 mm Hg), after perfusion was established through the mesenteric shunt. Mean time to establishment of visceral perfusion through the shunt was 25.5 +/- 4.4 minutes; the resultant decrement in visceral ischemic time averaged 31.3 minutes (i.e., until celiac, superior mesenteric, and right renal arteries were reconstructed). Compared with controls, patients with shunts had a significantly decreased (6.9 +/- 5.8 versus 21.6 +/- 8.4 mm Hg; p = 0.0003) rise in end-tidal CO2 on completion of visceral vessel reconstruction.


In-line mesenteric shunting is a simple method to decrease visceral ischemia during TAA repair, and it is adaptable to clamp and sew or partial bypass and distal perfusion operative techniques.

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