Aortic root surgery with circulatory arrest: Predictors of prolonged postoperative hospital stay

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Little is known about the outcomes of aortic root operations that involve inducing hypothermic circulatory arrest for relatively extensive proximal aortic surgery. We attempted to identify predictors of postoperative hospital length of stay (LOS) and factors that affect postoperative recovery.


During 2006-2014, 247 of 265 patients (93.2%) with disease extending into the aortic arch survived aortic root operations (206 elective, 41 urgent/emergent) in which hypothermic circulatory arrest with moderate hypothermia was used. Stepwise multivariate regression analysis was performed to identify predictors of LOS (as a continuous variable) and prolonged LOS (defined as LOS >9 days, the median for the cohort). By this definition, 111 patients (45%) had prolonged LOS and 136 (55%) did not.


Preoperative factors that independently predicted longer LOS in the entire cohort included age (P = .0014), redo sternotomy (P = .0047), and intraoperative packed red blood cell (PRBC) transfusion (P = .0007). Redo sternotomy and intraoperative PRBC transfusion also predicted longer LOS in 3 subgroup analyses: one of elective cases, one from which total arch replacement procedures were excluded, and one limited to patients who were discharged home. Age predicted longer LOS in the non-total arch (hemiarch) replacement patients. Ventilator support >48 hours (P < .0001) was associated with longer LOS. Elective aortic valve−sparing root replacement predicted a shorter LOS than valve replacement in multivariate regression analysis (P = .028).


In patients undergoing aortic root surgery with hypothermic circulatory arrest for disease extending into the aortic arch, reducing intraoperative PRBC transfusion except when absolutely necessary may reduce postoperative LOS and expedite recovery. Performing aortic valve–sparing root replacement, when feasible, may also reduce LOS.

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