Aortic arch replacement with frozen elephant trunk technique - a single-center study

Jamila Kremer, Fabian Preisner, Bashar Dib, Ursula Tochtermann, Arjang Ruhparwar, Matthias Karck, Mina Farag
Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery 2019 August 1, 14 (1): 147

BACKGROUND: The frozen elephant trunk (FET) technique was developed to facilitate the two-stage surgery of extensive pathologies of the thoracic aorta and is now routinely applied in acute and chronic aortic syndromes.

METHODS: From 11/2006 to 07/2017, 68 patients underwent aortic arch repair using the FET technique. Patients received either the Jotec E-vita Open graft (n = 57) or the Vascutek Thoraflex hybrid prosthesis (n = 11). Both, group 1 (acute aortic dissection type A and B; symptomatic penetrating aortic ulcer) and group 2 (aortic aneurysm; chronic aortic dissection) included 34 patients each.

RESULTS: Early mortality was 13.2% (14.7% in group 1 vs. 11.7% in group 2, p = 0.720). Neurological complications occurred in 12 patients (17.6%) (stroke: 8.8 vs. 11.7%; p = 0.797 and spinal cord injury: 8.8 vs. 5.9%; p = 0.642 in groups 1 vs. 2 respectively). Cardiopulmonary bypass time and cross clamp time were significantly longer in group 1 (252.2 ± 73.5 and 148.3 ± 34 min vs. 189.2 ± 47.8 and 116.3 ± 34.5 min; p <  0.001). The overall 1-, 3- and 7-year-survival was 80.9, 80.9 and 74.2% with no significant differences between groups 1 and 2. Expansion of true lumen after FET implantation was significant at all levels in both groups for patients with aortic dissection. One-, 3-, and 7-year-freedom from secondary (re-)intervention for patients for aortic dissection was 96.9, 90.2 and 82.7% with no significant differences between groups 1 and 2; p = 0.575.

CONCLUSION: The FET technique can be applied in acute aortic syndromes with similar risks regarding adverse events or mortality when compared to chronic degenerative aortic disease. Postoperative increase in true lumen diameter mirrors decrease of false lumen diameter, goes along with favorable midterm outcome and prolongs freedom from secondary interventions in acute aortic dissection.


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