Current Role and Outcomes of Ascending Aortic Replacement for Severe Nonaneurysmal Aortic Atherosclerosis

Division of Cardiac Surgery, Ospedali Riuniti, Trieste, Italy.
The Annals of thoracic surgery (Impact Factor: 3.65). 02/2010; 89(2):429-34. DOI: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2009.11.035
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Severe atherosclerosis of the ascending aorta is a challenging issue potentially affecting indications for surgery, operative choices, and patients' outcome. No standard treatment has emerged to date, and uncertainties persist about criteria for selecting patients and procedures.
Replacement of the atherosclerotic ascending aorta was performed in 64 patients at time of either aortic (n = 49), mitral (n = 21), or tricuspid (n = 7) valve surgery. Coronary artery bypass grafting was performed in 53 patients, and the majority of patients underwent combined procedures (n = 49). Mean age was 72.0 +/- 7.6 years. The expected operative mortality, by logistic European System for Cardiac Operative Risk Evaluation, was 29.0% accounting for ascending aortic replacement and 13.1% disregarding it. Circulatory arrest under deep hypothermia, eventually combined with either retrograde or antegrade brain perfusion, was required in 61 cases.
Early death, stroke, and myocardial infarction rates were 10.9%, 6.3%, and 7.8%, respectively. Factors univariately associated with early deaths were preoperative renal failure requiring dialysis (p = 0.001) and longer cardiopulmonary bypass (p = 0.001) and cardioplegia (p = 0.008) times. Cumulative survival at 1, 3, and 5 years was 86% +/- 4%, 74% +/- 6%, and 68% +/- 8%, respectively.
Replacement of the atherosclerotic ascending aorta can be carried out at acceptable mortality rates despite the high rates of preoperative comorbidity and the significant incidence of postoperative complications.

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