“Aorta-clamp” technique for surgical repair of acute type A aortic dissection—5 min circulatory arrest at 30 °C

Jie He, Jihai Peng, Wei Li, Dingwen Zheng, Shihao Cai, Wenliu Xu, Jinsong Huang, Xiaoping Fan


Background: Deep hypothermic circulatory arrest (HCA), which causes perioperative complications, is the foundation of surgical treatment for acute type A aortic dissection (AAAD). To extensively replace the dissected aorta and avoid the negative impacts of HCA, we developed an “aorta-clamp” technique and examined its efficacy in repairing AAAD.
Methods: From November 2014 to August 2016, we recruited 59 consecutive patients (51.3±10.9 years) with AAAD into this study. We performed total arch replacement combined with an elephant trunk implantation using the “aorta-clamp” technique under a 30 °C HCA with continual bilateral antegrade cerebral perfusion.
Results: The average HCA time was 4.9±1.0 min. Twenty-three patients had increased serum creatinine (sCr) before surgery, suggesting an AAAD-associated acute kidney injury (AKI). The sCr level returned to normal in five patients after operation and in 15 before discharge. Six patients (10.2%) with preoperative AKI required postoperative dialysis, and two of these patients (3.4%) died of multiple organ failure. Two patients (3.4%) required re-exploration due to bleeding. One patient (1.7%) exhibited temporary neurologic deficits. There were no late deaths. Computed tomography (CT) examination confirmed the patency of the anastomotic sites and thrombus obliteration of the residual false lumen.
Conclusions: Using the “aorta-clamp” technique with continual bilateral antegrade cerebral perfusion, total arch replacement combined with an elephant trunk implantation can be performed under five minutes of mild (30 °C) HCA. Our data suggest that this technique for the surgical repair of AAAD is a safe, feasible and effective surgical approach with satisfactory early outcomes.