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Early bypass occlusion after deployment of nitinol connector devices

By Oliver Reuthebuch, Alexander Kadner, Mario Lachat, Andreas Künzli, Ulrich P Schurr and Marko I Turina


AbstractBackgroundReducing the negative side effects associated with extracorporeal circulation is the major advantage of off-pump revascularization. However, side clamping of a calcified aorta for proximal anastomoses can cause emboli, resulting in neurologic damage. This problem has been addressed by introducing a mechanical anastomosis device (Symmetry, St Jude Medical) that allows vein-to-aorta anastomosis without manipulating the aorta. This report describes our experience with this device.MethodsBetween June 2001 and April 2002, 77 connectors (1.3 per patient) were deployed in 61 patients (51 men and 10 women; mean age, 68 ± 8.6 years) undergoing off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting or beating-heart revascularization. Intraoperative quality assessment included transit-time flow measurement (Medistim) and indocyanine green–based angiography (Spy, Novadaq).ResultsThe surgeons were meticulously trained in loading of the device. No postoperative neurologic deficits were detected. Fifty-three patients had an uneventful course. However, 8 (13.1%) patients with 12 implanted connectors were symptomatic within 8 months (1 day to 8 months). Angiography revealed significant (95%) stenosis or even occlusion of the proximal vein-to-aorta anastomosis at the level of all connectors. Four patients underwent reoperation (2 dilated-stented and 2 treated with drugs).ConclusionOn the basis of these observations, the routine use of the connector was halted at our institution. At the moment, the use of this therapy is reserved for patients with severely calcified aortas with no technical alternative. Further investigations appear necessary to evaluate the clinical patterns of this otherwise promising technology

Publisher: The American Association for Thoracic Surgery. Published by Mosby, Inc.
Year: 2004
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2004.01.015
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