NEW YORK (FRONTLINE MEDICAL NEWS) – A total aortic arch replacement approach that uses a four-branched graft with antegrade cerebral perfusion can be done with low rates of in-hospital death and complications, a large series from two institutions in Japan showed.

Kenji Minatoya, MD, of the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center in Osaka, Japan, reported that his institution’s approach for total arch replacement (TAR) had an in-hospital death rate of 5.2%.

Dr. Minatoya and his colleagues started using four-branch TAR in the 1980s, switching from retrograde to antegrade cerebral perfusion to protect the brain later on. “The study purpose was to investigate the results of total arch replacement using the four-branch graft as a benchmark in the endovascular era,” he said at the meeting, sponsored by the American Association for Thoracic Surgery.

The study involved 1,005 cases of total arch replacement performed at Dr. Minatoya’s center and at Tokyo Medical University from 2001 to 2016.

The study population included a cohort of 152 people in their 80s. The in-hospital death rate in this group was 11.8%, Dr. Minatoya said. The over-80 group mostly underwent thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) beginning in 2008, he said, but in recent years some had open total arch replacement operations.

The univariate analysis showed that chronic kidney disease, long operation times, long durations for coronary bypass and circulatory arrest, and extended time on mechanical ventilation were risk factors for in-hospital death in octogenarians, Dr. Minatoya said. The multivariate analysis showed that male gender along with extended mechanical ventilation were risk factors for in-hospital death in this group, he said.

The overall population included 252 emergent operations, 224 of which were for acute aortic dissections, Dr. Minatoya said. The in-hospital death rate was 4.5% for elective operations and 7.1% for emergent cases, he said. The death rate for isolated, elective total arch replacement was 3.4%.

Focusing on acute aortic dissections, Dr. Minatoya said, “We have adopted an aggressive strategy for entry-site resection, including total arch replacement, in patients with arch tears.” Almost 50% of patients with acute aortic dissection had total arch replacement, he said, with identical 4.9% rates for in-hospital mortality rate and permanent neurological deficit in this group.

The leading overall causes of in-hospital death were low-output syndrome (38.5%), sepsis (25%), respiratory failure (21%) and rupture of the residual aneurysm (9%), Dr. Minatoya said.

Fifteen patients (1.5%) underwent second operations for arch grafts, he said: 11 for pseudoaneurysm; three for hemolysis and one for infection. Other overall measures in the analysis were a permanent neurological dysfunction rate of 3.6%, a temporary neurological dysfunction rate of 6.4%, and no spinal cord complications. Overall 5-year survival was 80.7% and 10-year survival was 63.1%, Dr. Minatoya said.

A total of 311 patients had concomitant procedures. They included aortic valve operations (64); aortic root replacement (38); mitral valve replacement (13); and coronary artery bypass grafting (196).

The typical operation in the study population took about 8 hours, Dr. Minatoya said (482 minutes). Timing of key operative steps were cardiopulmonary time of 254 minutes, cardiac arrest time of 146 minutes, antegrade cerebral perfusion time of 160 minutes and lower-body circulatory arrest time of 62 minutes.

“Since the mean age was 70 years old, we think the survival rate was acceptable,” Dr. Minatoya said, regarding overall study results. Overall risk factors for in-hospital death were short stature, long pump time, chronic kidney disease, and age of 80 and up, he said. Short stature was a risk factor for permanent neurological deficit, and males over age 80 had a higher risk for total arch replacement.

“Total arch replacement using the four-branched graft with antegrade cerebral perfusion could be accomplished with acceptable early and late results,” Dr. Minatoya said. “The branched-arch TEVAR may be a good option for octogenarians and patients with chronic kidney disease.”

Dr. Minatoya had no financial relationships to disclose.


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