Acute aortic dissections of Stanford type A require emergency surgery repair and present challenges to surgeons. The frozen elephant technique is one of several approaches used to treat aortic arch dissection. The purpose of this meta-analysis was to investigate the clinical effectiveness of the frozen elephant technique for treating acute type A aortic dissection.
Medline, Cochrane, Google Scholar, and ClinicalTrials.gov databases were searched up to March 31, 2014, for studies that assessed the use of frozen elephant trunk technique for treating acute type A aortic dissection. The primary outcome was in-hospital mortality. Secondary outcomes included rate of stroke, spinal cord injury, renal failure, and reoperations for bleeding.
Eleven studies were included in the analysis that encompassed 881 patients. The mean age ranged from 45.4 to 66.8 years, and the proportion of the population that was male ranged from 45 to 85%. The overall in-hospital mortality rate was 8%. The rate of stroke, spinal cord injury, renal failure, and frequency of reoperations for bleeding were 3, 4, 5, and 5, respectively. Sensitivity analysis indicates that the findings are robust and there was no publication bias.
These findings indicate that the frozen elephant techniques does not bring unacceptable mortality or morbidity risk for treating acute type A aortic dissection.