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As its outcomes improve, cardiac surgery has been performed on more and more cases which were previously considered to be difficult to deal with. However, there are still a number of problems to be solved regarding surgery on patients with severe sclerotic lesions in the ascending aorta, which we collectively call “bad aorta”. Concerning a preoperative assessment of the ascending aorta, our report revealed no relationship between the severity of calcification detected with a preoperative non-enhanced CT and the aortic lesion found during the surgery. Meanwhile, an intraoperative epiaortic ultrasound enables us to make high-quality evaluations of the aorta without imposing much burden on the patient. This modality may be essential for cardiac surgery. As for surgical management for bad aorta, quite a few methods have been reported to this point, but the overall operative mortality rate and cerebrovascular accident rate are relatively high, at a little <10 %, respectively. With the recent cross-clamping method under short-term total circulatory arrest (TCA), however, the results are much better; these rates total around 5 %. Further improvement is expected in the outcome of cardiac surgery on bad aorta cases by establishing a modality to evaluate sclerotic lesions in the ascending aorta with epiaortic ultrasound and by selecting a proper procedure for each case.
KeywordsPorcelain aorta Shaggy aorta Circulatory arrest Aorta clamping Epiaortic ultrasound
Conflict of interest
The author has no conflict of interest to disclose with respect to this paper.
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