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Large Vessel — Sternum Adhesion After Cardiac Surgery; A Risk-Factor Analysis



To study the clinical results of resternotomy in patients with dense and direct adhesion between the large vessels and the sternum, and define the morphologic features of the adhesion.


Between 2000 and 2003, 67 patients with a history of cardiac surgery underwent median resternotomy. We studied each patient's profile and the measurements taken from preoperative computed tomography scans. We then conducted multivariate logistic regression analysis to determine the predictive morphologic features of adhesion between the large vessels and the sternum in these 67 patients.


Twenty (29.9%) of the 67 patients had direct adhesion between the large vessels and the sternum. Sternal re-entry was performed without injury to the large vessels in 18 (90%) but the aorta was injured in 2 (10%) patients, resulting in catastrophic hemodynamic disorder and operative death in one. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that an extracardiac conduit and a high occupying rate of the aorta and pulmonary artery in the mediastinal space were significant morphologic factors.


The morphologic features of large vessels to sternal dense adhesion as possible risk factors for injury to the large vessels are the presence of an extracardiac conduit and a large ascending aorta or pulmonary artery in relation to the mediastinal space.

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Yamauchi, T., Miyamoto, Y., Ichikawa, H. et al. Large Vessel — Sternum Adhesion After Cardiac Surgery; A Risk-Factor Analysis. Surg Today 36, 596–601 (2006).

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Key words

  • Resternotomy
  • Risk factors of resternotomy
  • Sternum
  • Adhesion