Surgical and cerebral protection strategies in aortic arch surgery remain under debate. Perioperative results using deep hypothermic circulatory arrest (DHCA) have been associated with favorable short-term mortality and stroke rates. The present study focuses on late survival in patients undergoing aortic surgery using DHCA.
A total of 613 patients (mean age, 63.7 years) underwent aortic surgery between January 2003 and December 2015 using DHCA, with 77.3% undergoing hemiarch replacement and 20.4% undergoing arch replacement, with a mean DHCA duration of 29.7 ± 8.5 minutes (range, 10-62 minutes). We examined follow-up extending up to a mean of 3.8 ± 3.4 years (range, 0-14.1 years).
Operative mortality was 2.9%, and the stroke rate was 2%. Survival was 92.2% at 1 year and 81.5% at 5 years, significantly lower than the values in an age- and sex-matched reference population. In elective, nondissection first-time surgeries (n = 424), survival was similar to that of the reference group. Acute type A aortic dissection (hazard ratio [HR], 4.84; P = .000), redo (HR, 4.12; P = .000), and descending aortic pathology (HR, 5.54: P = .000) were independently associated with reduced 1-year survival. Beyond 1 year, age (HR, 1.07; P = .000), major complications (HR, 3.11; P = .000), and atrial fibrillation (HR, 2.47; P = .006) were independently associated with poor survival. DHCA time was not significantly associated with survival in multivariable analysis.
Aortic surgery with DHCA can be performed with favorable late survival, with the duration of DHCA period having only a limited impact. However, these results cannot be generalized for very long durations of DHCA (>50 minutes), when perfusion methods may be preferable. In elective, nondissection first-time surgeries, a late survival comparable to that in a reference population can be achieved. Early survival is adversely affected by aortic dissection, redo status, and disease extent.