Repair of Acute Ascending Aorta-Arch Dissection with Continuous Body Perfusion: A Case Report


  • Dimitri Novitzky
  • Edward G. Izzo
  • Mark J. Alkire
  • John C. Brock



An approach for the replacement of the distal ascending aorta-proximal arch and acute dissection is described. During the operation, the patient's entire body was continuously perfused, the aortic arch was excluded from the arterial circulation, and the aorta was not clamped at any time. To achieve continuous body perfusion, we independently cannulated the right axillary and the left femoral arteries. The right atrium was cannulated for systemic venous return, and the right radial artery was used for arterial blood pressure monitoring. The myocardium was protected with retrograde cardioplegia, and the body was protected with moderate hypothermia. Vascular clamps were placed to the proximal innominate, left carotid, and left subclavian arteries without discontinuing perfusion of the right axillary artery. A temporary clamp was applied to the femoral line, the aorta was transected, and a large Foley catheter was inserted through the true aortic lumen. The Foley bulb was positioned in the proximal descending thoracic aorta and distended with saline until the aortic blood return ceased. The femoral line clamp was removed from the cannula, and the entire body was perfused during the completion of the distal aortic anastomosis. At the completion of the anastomosis, the Foley bulb was slightly deflated. Once the inserted graft was filled with blood, a large vascular clamp was applied to the graft, and the previously placed clamps were removed from the arch branches. The femoral line was removed, and the body was perfused and rewarmed via the axillary cannulation. Following completion of the proximal graft-aortic anastomosis, the heart was reperfused, and all cannulas were removed in the usual fashion. Rapid recovery characterized the patient's initial postoperative course; however, multiple organ failure secondary to pump-induced inflammatory response followed. Aggressive medical management resulted in complete patient recovery. No neurologic deficits were observed, and the patient regained full cognitive function. This report describes a simple approach to facilitate repair of the aortic arch and minimize postoperative organ failure.


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How to Cite

Novitzky, D., Izzo, E. G., Alkire, M. J., & Brock, J. C. (2005). Repair of Acute Ascending Aorta-Arch Dissection with Continuous Body Perfusion: A Case Report. The Heart Surgery Forum, 6(1), 43-46.