Bilateral versus unilateral antegrade cerebral perfusion in total arch replacement for type A aortic dissection

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Antegrade cerebral perfusion (ACP) is the most widely used cerebral protection strategy for complex aortic repair and includes unilateral (u-ACP) and bilateral (b-ACP) techniques. The superiority of b-ACP over u-ACP has been the subject of much debate. Focusing on type A aortic dissection requiring total arch replacement, we investigated the clinical effects of b-ACP versus u-ACP.


Between September 2006 and August 2014, 203 patients presenting with type A aortic dissection (median age, 51.0 ± 13 years; range, 17-72 years; 128 males) underwent total aortic arch replacement with hypothermic circulatory arrest. ACP was used in all patients, including u-ACP in 82 (40.3%) and b-ACP in 121 (59.7%).


There was no significant difference between the u-ACP and b-ACP groups in terms of cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) time, cross-clamp time, or circulatory arrest time. Overall 30-day mortality was comparable in the 2 groups (11.6% for b-ACP vs 20.7% for u-ACP; P = .075). The prevalence of postoperative permanent neurologic dysfunction (PND) was comparable as well (8.4% vs 16.9%; P = .091). Mean ventilation time was lower in the b-ACP group (95.5 ± 45.25 hours vs 147.0 ± 82 hours; P < .001). Mean lengths of stay in the intensive care unit and the hospital overall were comparable in the 2 groups (intensive care unit: 16 ± 17.75 days vs 17 ± 11.5 days, P = .454; hospital: 26.5 ± 20.6 days vs 24.8 ± 10.3 days, P = .434). The P values from logistic regression models indicated that in the 2 groups combined, CPB time and circulatory arrest time were independent risk factors for both mortality and PND.


In this, the first published study focusing on the efficacy of u-ACP and b-ACP in total arch replacement for type A aortic dissection, the b-ACP group did not demonstrate significantly lower 30-day mortality or PND rate compared with the u-ACP group. Future large-sample studies are warranted to thoroughly examine this critical issue.

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