Particulate embolization is associated with neurologic morbidity after cardiac surgery. Crossclamp manipulation has been identified as the single most significant cause of particulate emboli release during cardiac surgery. A new intra-aortic filtration method has been assessed with regard to its safety and its ability to capture particulate emboli before they enter the central circulation.Patients undergoing cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass through standard median sternotomy were selected for emboli management by means of intra-aortic filtration. A novel intra-aortic filter device was inserted through a modified 24F arterial cannula immediately before releasing the crossclamp in 77 patients. Filters remained in the aorta until cardiopulmonary bypass was discontinued and the heart was fully ejecting. The procedure was assessed for facility, safety, and effect on routine cardiopulmonary bypass operation and function.The insertion and removal of the intra-aortic filter were safe, easy, and uneventful in most patients. Patient hemodynamics and bypass flow rates remained normal throughout the filter dwell period. No strokes or gross neurologic defects were noted. Electron microscopic analysis of 12 filters revealed an insignificant degree of platelet adhesion on filter surfaces. Histology samples (n = 44) were examined, and 66% (n = 29) showed evidence of atheromatous material, 36% (n = 16) with platelet-fibrin, 25% (n = 11) with true thrombus and/or blood clot, 7% (n = 3) with normal vessel wall, and 2% (n = 1) with aggregates of cholesterol or grumous portion of atheromatous plaque.The intra-aortic filter can be safely deployed and captures particulate emboli, the predominant origin of which is atheromatous. The beneficial effects of this device on neurologic outcomes have yet to be determined.
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View details for PubMedID 10649198