Outcome of open total arch replacement in the modern era

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To shed light on contemporary results of open total aortic arch surgery, we undertook a systematic review to identify all reports on this procedure published in the last 10 years.


Extensive electronic literature search was undertaken to identify all published articles from 2004 to 2014 that provided results on total aortic arch replacement. According to inclusion and exclusion criteria, 21 relevant studies were selected and meta-analyzed to assess outcomes.


The pooled estimate for operative mortality was 5.3%. Permanent and transient neurologic deficit occurred postoperatively at a pooled rate of 3.4% and 5.2%, respectively. Pooled rate of irreversible spinal cord injury was 0.6%, whereas renal failure occurred at a pooled rate of 4.1%. Prolonged intubation occurred at pooled rate of 15.4%. Among elective patients, pooled rate of mortality and permanent neurologic deficit was 2.9% and 2.2%, respectively, with a significant difference compared with urgent/emergency surgery cases.


The main findings from this meta-analysis indicate that total aortic arch replacement can be performed with satisfactory mortality and morbidity. The pooled rates of mortality and permanent neurologic deficit among elective cases were surprisingly low, and these data have an even greater prominence when they are compared with outcomes of hybrid arch series. Under urgent/emergency surgery, early mortality and neurologic complications showed an about threefold higher rate. Moderate hypothermic circulatory arrest and early rewarming seem to provide proper renal protection, with an intermediate risk of prolonged intubation.

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