Brain damage after aortic arch repair using selective cerebral perfusion

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Abstract

Background.

Selective cerebral perfusion is one of the most popular methods for cerebral protection during aortic arch repair. However, causes of postoperative brain damage are not fully understood. We analyzed brain damage after aortic arch repair using selective cerebral perfusion for true aortic arch aneurysm in regard to preoperative cerebral infarction and intracranial and extracranial occlusive arterial disease.

Methods.

Over a 9-year period, 60 patients with true aortic arch aneurysm underwent aortic arch repair using selective cerebral perfusion. Postoperative brain damage was evaluated in regard to preoperative cerebral infarction detected by computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, or both in 50 patients and intracranial and extracranial occlusive arterial disease detected by digital subtraction angiography, magnetic resonance angiography, or both in 35 patients.

Results.

Seven (12%) of the 60 patients died within 30 days of operation. Postoperative brain damage occurred in 6 (10.5%) (3, coma, and 3, hemiplegia) of 57 patients; 3 patients who died without awakening were excluded. Preoperatively, old cerebral infarction was detected in 9 patients (18%), and silent cerebral infarction (lacunar infarction and leukoaraiosis) was diagnosed in 26 patients (52%). Postoperative brain damage occurred in 3 (33%) of the 9 patients with preoperative cerebral infarction and in 3 (23%) of 13 patients with negative preoperative brain findings; this excludes 2 patients who died without awakening. No patient with silent cerebral infarction had postoperative brain damage. Occlusive arterial disease was detected in 7 patients (20%). The incidence of brain damage in these patients was 71% (5/7), which was significantly greater than that of 4% (1/28) in patients without occlusive arterial disease (p < 0.001).

Conclusions.

Silent cerebral infarction may not be a risk factor for postoperative brain damage. Preoperative evaluation of intracranial and extracranial occlusive arterial disease provides important information as to whether a patient might sustain brain damage after aortic arch repair using selective cerebral perfusion.

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