OBJECTIVE: To analyse our results of using a double arterial perfusion strategy to avoid lower body hypothermic circulatory arrest after extensive thoracic aortic surgery.
METHODS: We analysed the intra- and perioperative courses of 10 patients (median age 58 years, median logistic EuroSCORE 14.6) who underwent extensive thoracic aortic surgery with a double arterial perfusion strategy. The main goal of double arterial perfusion is to separate myocardial and supra-aortic from systemic perfusion. Aortic repair starts at the most distal level of the descending aorta, followed by reinsertion of the supra-aortic vessels, and ends with completion of the proximal anastomosis or by any kind of root repair as needed.
RESULTS: Seven of 10 patients had prior surgery of the thoracic aorta. Indications for surgery were post-dissection aneurysm in 4 patients, true aneurysm in 3, anastomotic aneurysms in 2 and Type B aortic dissection with pseudo-coarctation in 1. Surgical access was performed through median sternotomy with left hemi-clamshell extension in all cases. There was no in-hospital mortality, but perioperative neurological symptoms occurred in 2 patients. These 2 patients developed delayed stroke (after awaking) after an initial uneventful clinical course, and in 1 of them, neurological symptoms resolved completely during follow-up. The median follow-up was 7 (± 13) months. There was no death and no need for additional redo surgery during this observational period.
CONCLUSIONS: Extensive surgery of the thoracic aorta using a double arterial perfusion technique in order to avoid lower body hypothermic circulatory arrest is an attractive option. Further refinements of this technique may enable the safe and effective simultaneous multisegmental treatment of thoracic aortic pathology in patients who would otherwise have to undergo a two-step surgical approach.