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Vojnosanitetski pregled 2004 Volume 61, Issue 1, Pages: 15-20
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The problem of calcified ascending aorta during aortocoronary bypass

Nežić Duško G., Knežević Aleksandar M., Ćirković Milan V., Petrović Branko B., Jović Miomir Đ., Kolar Jovo, Birovljev Siniša, Jakovljević Miroslav

Heavily calcified ascending aorta significantly increased morbidity and lethality during open-heart surgery. Cannulation and clamping (partial or total) of severely atherosclerotic ascending aorta can easily cause damage and rupture of aortic wall, with consequential distal (often fatal) embolization with atheromatous debris (brain, myocardium). From June 1998. until June 2000, 11 of 2 136 (0.5%) patients who underwent coronary artery bypass grafting were with the severe atheromatous ascending aorta. The site of cannulation was in the aortic arch in three patients (aorta was occluded with Foley catheter in one case, and single clamp technique was used in the other two cases). The femoral artery was the cannulation site in other five cases. Profound hypothermia, ventricular fibrillation, and circulatory arrest, with no cross-clamping or cardioplegia, were used in three patients. Two patients were operated on with extracorporeal circulation, one in normothermia, on the beating heart, the other in moderate hypothermia, on fibrillating heart. In three patients myocardial revascularization was performed on the beating heart, in normothermia, without extracorporeal circulation. Postoperative course was uneventful in all 11 patients. Neither atheroembolism in the peripheral organs, nor atheroembolism of the extramities occurred. The proposed surgical approaches have the potential to reduce the prevalence of stroke and systemic embolization associated with coronary artery bypass grafting in patients with heavily calcified ascending aorta. This result was achieved due to the applied modifications of standard cardiosurgical technique.

Keywords: coronary artery bypass, aorta, calcinosis, arteriosclerosis, cardiovascular surgical procedures, myocardial revascularization, embolism, cholesterol

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