Double-arterial cannulation enables cerebral perfusion and lower body perfusion during aortic arch reconstruction. The aim of this study was to analyse and report our experience of using this cannulation and perfusion technique on paediatric patients.
A retrospective single-centre study was carried out on 407 consecutive paediatric patients who underwent an aortic arch reconstruction under double-arterial cannulation between 2003 and 2015. The median age of the patients at surgery was 8 (range 2–5570) days, and body weight was 3.3 (range 1.8–60) kg. All operations were performed through standard median sternotomy. One arterial cannula was inserted into the innominate artery and the second one into the supradiaphragmatic descending aorta. Primary end points were 30-day mortality, acute renal failure requiring dialysis and time until lactate level decreased to ≤2 mmol/l postoperatively.
We found an in-hospital mortality of 8.6%. Lethal incident was not associated with the cannulation method, and 1 intraoperative lesion of the descending aorta could be repaired immediately. The median lactate level of the patients on arrival at the intensive care unit was 3.5 mmol/l [quartile (Q)1: 2.3–Q3: 4.7] and creatinine was 0.48 mg/100 ml (Q1: 0.40–Q3: 0.58). The longest duration until the lactate level decreased to ≤ 2 mmol/l was found in the group of 264 univentricular patients (median 11 h, Q1: 6–Q3: 24). Seven (1.7%) patients of the whole cohort required peritoneal dialysis postoperatively.
Double-arterial cannulation is a simple and safe method for perfusing the brain and the lower parts of the body during aortic arch reconstruction. Perioperative survival and freedom from procedure-related complications in this demanding patient population are encouraging.