Surgical treatment of pseudoaneurysm of the thoracic aorta

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Abstract

Objectives

To examine the clinical profiles, operative outcomes, and late results of patients with pseudoaneurysm of the thoracic aorta.

Methods

From 1990 to 2002, 60 patients underwent repair of aortic pseudoaneurysm: ascending aorta in 70%, ascending aorta and arch in 15%, descending aorta in 10%, and arch alone in 5%. Mean age was 53 ± 15 years, and 70% were men. Of these, 50 (83%) had undergone previous cardiac surgery, including 22 (37%) composite valve graft operations. The preferred cannulation site was femoral-femoral (n = 27, 45%), with deep hypothermic circulatory arrest in 62% and retrograde cerebral perfusion in 33%; more recently, however, axillary cannulation has been preferred.

Results

Principal etiologies were graft infection in ascending aorta pseudoaneurysm and trauma in descending aorta pseudoaneurysm. Fifteen patients (25%) presented with chest pain, 13 (22%) with heart failure, and 20% with moderate or severe aortic regurgitation. The pseudoaneurysm was resected and the aorta replaced (n = 45, 75%) or repaired (n = 15, 25%) using various methods. Hospital mortality was 6.7% (n = 4). Reexploration for bleeding was required in 8.3%, and 3.3% had postoperative stroke. At 30 days, 5 years, and 10 years, survival was 94%, 74%, and 60% and freedom from reoperation was 95%, 77%, and 67%, respectively.

Conclusions

Most patients with aortic pseudoaneurysm require ascending aorta and/or arch replacement, which can be accomplished with low operative mortality and morbidity. Long-term survival and freedom from reoperation in these young patients parallel those expected for complex cardiac and aortic disease.

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