Article

Acute aortic dissection early after off-pump coronary surgery: true frequency underestimated?

Jim Moran Heart & Vascular Center, Holy Cross Hospital, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33308, USA.
Texas Heart Institute journal / from the Texas Heart Institute of St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, Texas Children's Hospital (Impact Factor: 0.67). 01/2009; 36(5):462-7.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Since the adoption of off-pump coronary artery bypass surgery (OPCAB), numerous investigators have compared its short- and long-term results with those of on-pump coronary bypass surgery. Some reports of OPCAB were quite favorable, whereas others were critical, claiming that it resulted in incomplete revascularization and reduced venous graft patency. A potentially serious complication of OPCAB, not heretofore sufficiently confronted, is the increased incidence of early postoperative acute aortic dissection, in comparison with the more familiar intraoperative and late-occurring aortic dissection after conventional on-pump bypass surgery.Early postoperative acute aortic dissection after OPCAB appears to be more frequent than was initially thought. Its clinical manifestations can be unusual and often neurologic in nature-rendering diagnosis difficult, causing delays in surgical intervention, and resulting in a high mortality rate.When the physician notes unusual developments in patients after OPCAB that lead to the suspicion of aortic dissection, immediate computed tomography of the chest and surgery should occur if dissection is confirmed. If not detected early, this sequela almost certainly leads to rapid death from aortic rupture. Prevention lies in the strict control of systolic blood pressure during the performance of proximal anastomoses; avoidance of aortic clamping through the use of sequential all-arterial grafts or new-generation mechanical connectors; and, at times, aggressive replacement of the aorta with a prosthetic graft.Herein, we present the cases of 4 patients who sustained acute aortic dissection early after OPCAB. We review the pertinent medical literature.

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