Contemporary results of open aortic arch surgery

Mathew Thomas, Zhuo Li, David J. Cook, Kevin L. Greason, Thoralf M. Sundt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Objectives: The success of endovascular therapies for descending thoracic aortic disease has turned attention toward stent graft options for repair of aortic arch aneurysms. Defining the role of such techniques demands understanding of contemporary results of open surgery. Methods: The outcomes of open arch procedures performed on a single surgical service from July 1, 2001 to August 30, 2010, were examined as defined per The Society of Thoracic Surgeons national database. Results: During the study period, 209 patients (median age, 65 years; range, 26-88) underwent arch operations, of which 159 were elective procedures. In 65 the entire arch was replaced, 22 of whom had portions of the descending thoracic aorta simultaneously replaced via bilateral thoracosternotomy. Antegrade cerebral perfusion was used in 78 patients and retrograde cerebral perfusion in 1. Operative mortality was 2.5% in elective circumstances and 10% in emergency cases (P = .04). The stroke rate was 5.0% when procedures were performed electively and 11.8% when on an emergency basis (P = .11). Procedure-specific mortality rates were 5.5% for elective and 10% for emergency procedures with total arch replacement, and 1.0% for elective and 10% for emergency procedures with hemiarch replacement. Stratified by extent, neurologic event rates were 5.5% for elective and 10% for emergency procedures with total arch and 4.8% for elective and 12.5% for emergency procedures with hemiarch replacement. Conclusions: Open aortic arch replacement can be performed with low operative mortality and stroke rates, especially in elective circumstances, by a team with particular focus on the procedure. The results of novel endovascular therapies should be benchmarked against contemporary open series performed in such a setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)838-844
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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