A new surgical technique named triple-branched stent graft was developed and reported to have excellent clinical results for Stanford type A aortic dissection. However, we found some potential risks, in our experience, of this technique. We compared this technique with total arch replacement combined with stented elephant trunk implantation in patients with acute Stanford type A dissection.METHODS
Thirty-eight patients with acute Stanford type A aortic dissection underwent surgical treatment from January to November 2010. These patients were divided into two groups: patients with total arch replacement combined with stented elephant trunk implantation (Group A, n = 22) and those with ascending aorta replacement combined with open placement of triple-branched stent graft (Group B, n = 16).RESULTS
In-hospital mortality was not different in the two groups (9.1 and 6.25%, respectively). Cardiopulmonary bypass, aortic cross-clamp, circulation arrest, selective cerebral perfusion and low-body arrest times were shorter in Group B. Mechanical ventilation support, duration of intensive care unit (ICU) stay and hospitalization time were not different in the two groups. The incidence of postoperative stent graft-related complications was significantly higher in Group B. Actuarial survival rates and freedom from reoperation during the follow-up did not differ in the two groups.CONCLUSIONS
The triple-branched stent graft technique truly has some advantages in simplifying the procedure and reducing the surgical time. However, this technique has some potential risks such as postoperative stent graft shifting or kinking, which may cause occlusion, aortic disruption and malperfusion syndrome. Long-term follow-up and further multicentre clinical trials are necessary to verify their use in this setting and the design of the grafts and surgical procedure should be further refined to reduce the incidence of stent graft complications.