Perfusion Strategy Using Axillary or Femoral Cannulation for Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery: Experience in 270 Patients with Computed Tomography-Based Criteria




In patients with atherosclerotic disease, minimally invasive cardiac surgery using retrograde perfusion for cardiopulmonary bypass via femoral cannulation (FC) carries a higher risk of brain embolization compared with antegrade perfusion. However, guidelines for selecting antegrade versus retrograde perfusion do not exist. We developed a computed tomography (CT)-based perfusion strategy and assessed outcomes.


We studied 270 minimally invasive cardiac surgery patients, aged 68 ± 13, 124 female, body surface area 1.6 ± 0.2 m2. Antegrade perfusion using axillary cannulation (AC) was selected if any of the following preoperative enhanced CT scan criteria were satisfied anywhere in the aorta or iliac arteries: thrombosis thickness >3 mm, thrombosis >one-third of the total circumference and calcification present in the total circumference. FC was selected otherwise. Asymptomatic brain injury was assessed by diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging.


AC and FC were selected in 95 (35%) and 175 patients, respectively. AC patients were 10 years older (P < 0.001) and had higher EuroSCORE II (2.7 ± 3.4 vs 1.7 ± 1.9, P =0.002). The median cardiopulmonary time and cross-clamp times were not significantly different. No patients died in hospital. There was no immediate stroke in either group during 48 h after surgery. Asymptomatic brain injury was detected in 25 (26%) and 27 (15%) AC and FC patients, respectively, P = 0.03.


We believe our CT-based perfusion strategy using AC or FC minimized brain embolic rates. AC can be a good alternative to prevent brain embolization for minimally invasive cardiac surgery patients with advanced atherosclerotic disease.

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