Background: Total aortic arch replacement (TAR) with frozen elephant trunk (FET) requires hypothermic circulatory arrest (HCA) for 20 minutes, which increases the surgical risk. We invented an aortic balloon occlusion technique that requires 5 minutes of HCA on average to perform TAR with FET and investigated the possible merit of this new method in this study.
Methods: This retrospective study included consecutive patients who underwent TAR and FET (consisting of 130 cases of aortic balloon occlusion group and 230 cases of conventional group) in Fuwai Hospital between August 2017 and February 2019. In addition to the postoperative complications, the alterations of blood routine tests, alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase (AST) during the in-hospital stay were also recorded.
Results: The 30-day mortality rates were similar between the aortic balloon occlusion group (4.6%) and the conventional group (7.8%, P = 0.241). Multivariate analysis showed aortic balloon occlusion reduced postoperative acute kidney injury (23.1% vs 35.7%, P = 0.013) and hepatic injury (12.3% vs 27.8%, P = 0.001), and maintained similar cost to patients (25.5 vs 24.9 kUSD, P = 0.298). We also found that AST was high during intensive care unit (ICU) stay and recovered to normal before discharge, while ALT was not as high as AST in ICU but showed a rising tendency before discharge. The platelet count showed a rising tendency on postoperative day 3 and may exceed the preoperative value before discharge.
Conclusions: The aortic balloon occlusion achieved the surgical goal of TAR with FET with an improved recovery process during the in-hospital stay.