Improved exposure of the pulmonary arteries for thromboendarterectomy

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Pulmonary thromboendarterectomy is a surgical technique for treating pulmonary hypertension caused by unresolved pulmonary embolism. It has been recommended to perform this procedure under deep hypothermic circulatory arrest. Here we describe two technical modifications: (1) improved exposure to the right pulmonary artery by division of the superior caval vein and (2) thromboendarterectomy in normothermic cardiopulmonary bypass, with beating heart or electrically induced ventricular fibrillation. These modifications allow complete endarterectomy of both pulmonary arteries under normothermic conditions, thus avoiding hypothermic circulatory arrest, which results in short cardiopulmonary bypass times and reduces the morbidity and mortality of this procedure.

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