The impact of temperature in aortic arch surgery patients receiving antegrade cerebral perfusion for >30 minutes: How relevant is it really?

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We examined the early outcomes and the long-term survival associated with different degrees of hypothermia in patients who received antegrade cerebral perfusion (ACP) for >30 minutes.


During a 10-year period, 544 consecutive patients underwent proximal and total aortic arch surgery and received ACP for >30 minutes and 1 of 3 levels of hypothermia: deep (14.1°C-20°C; n = 116 [21.3%]), low-moderate (20.1°C-23.9°C; n = 262 [48.2%]), and high-moderate (24°C-28°C; n = 166 [30.5%]). A variable called “predicted temperature” was used in propensity-score analysis. Multivariate analysis was done to evaluate the effect of actual temperature on outcomes.


The operative mortality rate was 12.5% (n = 68) overall and was 15.5%, 11.8%, and 11.5% in the deep, low-moderate, and high-moderate hypothermia patients, respectively (P = .54). The persistent stroke rate was 6.6% overall and 12.2%, 4.6%, and 6.0% in these 3 groups, respectively (P = .024 on univariate analysis). On multivariate analysis, actual temperature was not associated with mortality, but lower temperatures predicted persistent stroke and reoperation for bleeding. In the propensity-matched subgroups, the patients with predicted deep hypothermia had (nonsignificantly) greater rates of persistent stroke (12.2% vs 4.9%; relative risk, 1.08; 95% CI, 0.87–1.15) and reoperation for bleeding (14.6% vs 2.4%; relative risk, 1.14; 95% CI, 0.87–1.15) than the patients with predicted moderate hypothermia. On long-term follow-up (mean duration, 5.12 years), 4- and 8-year survival rates were 62.3% and 55.7% in the deep hypothermia group and 75.4% and 74.2% in the moderate hypothermia group (P = .0015).


In proximal and arch operations involving ACP for >30 minutes, greater actual temperatures were associated with less stroke and reoperation for bleeding. There were no significant differences among the predicted hypothermia levels, although a trend toward a higher rate of adverse events was noticed in the deep hypothermia group. Long-term survival was better in the moderate hypothermia group.

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