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Challenging Paradigm Limits of Retrograde Cerebral Perfusion During Lower Body Circulatory Arrest

Published:November 30, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jss.2022.10.099

      Abstract

      Introduction

      Retrograde cerebral perfusion (RCP) is a safe and effective technique to augment cerebral protection during lower body circulatory arrest in patients undergoing elective hemiarch replacement. However, recommendations guiding optimal temperature, flow rate, and perfusion pressure are outdated and potentially overly limiting. We report our experience using RCP for elective hemiarch replacement with parameters that challenge the currently accepted paradigm.

      Methods

      This was a single-center, retrospective analysis of 319 adult patients who underwent elective hemiarch replacement between February 2010 and 2021 using hypothermic lower body circulatory arrest with RCP alone, RCP followed by antegrade cerebral perfusion (ACP), or ACP alone. Flow rates were adjusted to maintain cerebral perfusion pressure between 30 and 50 mm Hg for RCP and between 40 and 60 mm Hg for ACP.

      Results

      RCP was used in 22.6% (n = 72) of cases, whereas ACP alone was performed in 77.4% (n = 247) of cases. Baseline patient characteristics were similar between groups. Patients undergoing RCP demonstrated shorter cross-clamp time (97.0 min versus 100.0 min, P = 0.034) and shorter lower body circulatory arrest time (7.0 min versus 10.0 min, P < 0.0001) compared with ACP alone. Nadir bladder temperature was equivalent between groups (27.3°C versus 27.5°C, P = 0.752). There were no significant differences in postoperative complications, neurologic outcomes, or mortality.

      Conclusions

      Moderate hypothermic lower body circulatory arrest combined with RCP at target perfusion pressures of 30-50 mm Hg in patients undergoing elective hemiarch replacement results in equivalent neurologic outcomes and overall morbidity to cases using ACP alone. These results challenge the currently accepted paradigm for RCP, which typically uses deep hypothermia while keeping perfusion pressures below 25 mm Hg.

      Keywords

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