Transapical aortic cannulation for cardiopulmonary bypass in type A aortic dissection operations

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ObjectiveThe femoral artery is the customary site for arterial cannulation for cardiopulmonary bypass in treating type A aortic dissections. However, because of concerns regarding complications caused by retrograde perfusion, the number of surgeons who prefer using the axillary artery as the site for cannulation is increasing. However, axillary artery cannulation also involves some problems. Thus we prefer transapical aortic cannulation for repair of type A aortic dissection.MethodsTransapical aortic cannulation was performed in 138 patients (83 men and 55 women; mean age, 60.1 years; 129 acute and 9 chronic; 120 hemiarch repair and 15 total arch replacement) with type A aortic dissection. A 1-cm incision is made in the apex of the left ventricle, and a 7-mm soft and flexible cannula is passed through the apex and across the aortic valve until positioned in the ascending aorta transesophageal echocardiographic guidance.ResultsThere were no cases in which conversion to cannulation of another artery was necessary. In all cases cardiopulmonary bypass flow was sufficient (>2.5 L/m−2/min−1). There were no malperfusion events. Eight (5.8%) patients had cerebrovascular accidents. Twenty-six (18.8%) patients died in the hospital of complications not related to transapical aortic cannulation.ConclusionsOur results show that transapical aortic cannulation is safe and useful for repair of type A aortic dissection. There are advantages to transapical aortic cannulation, such as simple and quick cannulation technique, sufficient antegrade aortic flow, and the reliability of true lumen perfusion with decreased risk of stroke and malperfusion.

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