Efficacy of Unilateral Cerebral Perfusion for Brain Protection in Aortic Arch Surgery

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2019 Feb 21. [Epub ahead of print]

Unilateral cerebral perfusion performed in the described conditions is highly effective for cerebral protection in aortic arch surgery.

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Objectives

The aim of the study was to evaluate the surgical and neurological outcomes after aortic arch surgery using unilateral cerebral perfusion.

Methods

Between June 2004 and February 2017, a total of 1000 patients (mean age 63 ± 12; range, 14-88 years) with nonacutely dissected aortic pathology (aneurysm, porcelain aorta, chronic dissection, infection, and injury in 89.1%, 4.9%, 4.1%, 1.6%, and 0.3%, respectively) underwent aortic arch surgery using unilateral cerebral perfusion for brain protection using mild hypothermia. A previous neurological event with residuals was documented in 3.6% of the patients and 12.2% had received previous cardiovascular surgery. The surgery comprised total/subtotal arch repair (with involvement of at least 1 supra-aortic artery) or hemiarch replacement in 346 and 654 patients, respectively. The aortic valve was replaced in 521 (including 190 valve composite grafts) and repaired in 380 patients (284 valve-sparing root repairs).

Results

The unilateral cerebral perfusion (mean duration 23.3 ± 17.2; range, 6-105 minutes) was performed via cannulated common carotid or innominate artery and aimed for a pressure-controlled (70-100 mm Hg) flow (mean flow, 1.4 ± 0.3 L/min; mean pressure, 90.1 ± 20.1 mm Hg) at a constant blood temperature of 28°C for ensuring the patency of collateral pathways. The circulatory arrest of the lower body (mean duration 18.4 ± 9.9 minutes) was performed at a rectal temperature of 31.2 ± 1.8°C. Early (30-day) and in-hospital mortality was 1.3% and 2.1%, respectively; the rates of permanent neurological deficit and transient neurological dysfunctions were 1.0% and 4.9%, respectively.

Conclusions

Unilateral cerebral perfusion performed in the described conditions is highly effective for cerebral protection in aortic arch surgery.