Publications by authors named "Aldo E Rafael"

15 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Severe Mitral Paravalvular Leak Treated with Percutaneous Paravalvular Leak Closure with Underlying Severe Mitral Annular Calcium.

Am J Cardiol 2021 08 20;152:165-167. Epub 2021 Jun 20.

Department of Internal Medicine: Cardiovascular Disease, Baylor University Medical Center, Baylor Jack and Jane Hamilton Heart and Vascular Hospital, Dallas, TX.

Standard operative mitral valve replacement for mitral stenosis in the setting of severe mitral annular calcium has been associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Inability to ensure a well seated prosthesis may lead to periprosthetic leak. We present a case of severe paravalvular leak, causing significant hemolysis, after mitral valve replacement with underling severe mitral annular calcium. The leak was successfully repaired using a transseptal percutaneous approach, with subsequent resolution of hemolysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjcard.2021.04.043DOI Listing
August 2021

Long-term outcomes of patients with primary graft dysfunction after cardiac transplantation.

Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2021 11;60(5):1178-1183

Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA.

Objectives: The International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) criteria for primary graft dysfunction (PGD) after cardiac transplantation have been shown to stratify patient outcomes up to 1 year after transplantation, but scarce data are available regarding outcomes beyond the 1st year. We sought to characterize survival of patients with PGD following cardiac transplantation beyond the 1st year.

Methods: A retrospective review of consecutive patients undergoing isolated cardiac transplantation at a single centre between 2012 and 2015 was performed. Patients were diagnosed with none, mild, moderate or severe PGD by the ISHLT criteria. Survival was ascertained from the United Network for Organ Sharing database and chart review. Kaplan-Meier curves were plotted to compare survival. The hazard ratio for mortality associated with PGD severity was estimated using Cox-proportional hazards modelling, with a pre-specified conditional survival analysis at 90 days.

Results: A total of 257 consecutive patients underwent cardiac transplantation during the study period, of whom 73 (28%) met ISHLT criteria for PGD: 43 (17%) mild, 12 (5%) moderate and 18 (7%) severe. Patients with moderate or severe PGD had decreased survival up to 5 years after transplantation (log-rank P < 0.001). Landmark analyses demonstrated that patients with moderate or severe PGD were at increased risk of mortality during the first 90-days after transplantation as compared to those with none or mild PGD [hazard ratio (95% confidence interval) 18.9 (7.1-50.5); P < 0.001], but this hazard did not persist beyond 90-days in survivors (P = 0.64).

Conclusions: A diagnosis of moderate or severe PGD is associated with increased mortality up to 5 years after cardiac transplantation. However, patients with moderate or severe PGD who survive to post-transplantation day 90 are no longer at increased risk for mortality as compared to those with none or mild PGD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ejcts/ezab177DOI Listing
November 2021

High-quality cardiac surgery through teamwork.

Proc (Bayl Univ Med Cent) 2020 Sep 14;34(1):215-220. Epub 2020 Sep 14.

Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Baylor University Medical Center and Baylor Scott & White Heart and Vascular Hospital - Dallas, Dallas, Texas.

The high-quality cardiothoracic surgery program is primed for mindful effective surgery. The challenge lies in attaining mindful skills and efficiency. Herein is one journey toward high departmental quality over two decades.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08998280.2020.1811057DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7785160PMC
September 2020

Morphological and Functional Characteristics of the Right Ventricle Functioning as a Systemic Ventricle for Decades After an Atrial Switch Procedure for Complete Transposition of the Great Arteries.

Am J Cardiol 2019 06 13;123(11):1863-1867. Epub 2019 Mar 13.

Department of Internal Medicine (Division of Cardiology), Baylor University Medical Center, Baylor Scott & White Health, Dallas, Texas.

Described herein are certain clinical and cardiac morphologic findings in 4 adults with complete transposition of the great arteries who underwent the Mustard procedure in the newborn period or in childhood and each lived >30 years thereafter before either having orthotopic heart transplantation (3 patients) or dying while awaiting orthotopic heart transplantation. Compared with the wall of the left ventricle, the wall of the right ventricle (the systemic one) was much thicker, the myofibers much larger, and either grossly-visible or microscopic-sized scars were present in its wall. Additionally, some intramural coronary arteries in the right ventricular wall were numerous, large, had thick walls, and often narrowed lumens. That the Mustard operation provided the necessary time for the right ventricle (the systemic one) to develop to its fullest is a tribute to this procedure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjcard.2019.02.052DOI Listing
June 2019

Relation of Vasoplegia in the Absence of Primary Graft Dysfunction to Mortality Following Cardiac Transplantation.

Am J Cardiol 2018 12 8;122(11):1902-1908. Epub 2018 Sep 8.

Center for Advanced Heart and Lung Disease, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, Texas; Annette C. and Harold C. Simmons Transplant Institute, Baylor Scott & White Research Institute, Dallas, Texas. Electronic address:

Vasoplegia following cardiac transplantation is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Previous studies have not accounted for primary graft dysfunction (PGD). The definition of vasoplegia is based on pressor requirement at 48 hours, many PGD parameters may have normalized after the initial 24 hours on inotropes. We surmised that the purported negative effects of vasoplegia following transplantation may in part be driven by PGD. We reviewed 240 consecutive adult cardiac transplants at our center between 2012 and 2016. The severity of vasoplegia was evaluated as a risk factor for 1-year survival, and the analysis was repeated for the subgroup of 177 patients who did not develop PGD. Overall, 63 (26%) of patients developed mild, moderate, or severe PGD. In those without PGD, vasoplegia was associated with length of stay but not with short- or long-term mortality. Moderate and/or severe vasoplegia occurred in 35 (15%) patients and was associated with higher short-term mortality, length of stay, and PGD. Multivariate logistic regression identified body mass index ≥35 kg/m, left ventricular assist device before transplantation, and use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation as joint risk factors for vasoplegia. In patients without PGD, only left ventricular assist device before transplantation was associated with vasoplegia. In conclusion, our results show that, in the sizeable subgroup of patients with no signs of PGD, vasoplegia had a much more modest impact on post-transplant morbidity and no significant effect on 1- and 3-year survival. This suggests that PGD may be a confounder when assessing vasoplegia as a risk factor for adverse outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjcard.2018.08.035DOI Listing
December 2018

Donor predicted heart mass as predictor of primary graft dysfunction.

J Heart Lung Transplant 2018 07 17;37(7):826-835. Epub 2018 Mar 17.

Center for Advanced Heart and Lung Disease, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, USA; Annette C. and Harold C. Simmons Transplant Institute, Baylor Scott & White Research Institute, Dallas, Texas, USA.

Background: Concern over the hazards associated with undersized donor hearts has impeded the utilization of otherwise viable allografts for transplantation. Previous studies have indicated predicted heart mass (PHM) may provide better size matching in cardiac transplantation than total body weight (TBW). We investigated whether size-matching donor hearts by PHM is a better predictor of primary graft dysfunction (PGD) than matching by TBW.

Methods: Records of consecutive adult cardiac transplants performed between 2012 and 2016 at a single-center academic hospital were reviewed. We compared patients implanted with hearts undersized by ≥30% with those implanted with donor hearts matched for size (within 30%), and performed the analysis both for undersizing by PHM and for undersizing by TBW. The primary outcome was moderate/severe PGD within 24 hours, according to the 2014 International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation consensus. Secondary outcome was 1-year survival.

Results: Of 253 patients, 21 (8%) and 30 (12%) received hearts undersized by TBW and PHM, respectively. The overall rate of moderate/severe PGD was 13% (33 patients). PGD was associated with undersizing if performed by PHM (p = 0.007), but not if performed by TBW (p = 0.49). One-year survival was not different between groups (log-rank, p > 0.8). Multivariate analysis confirmed that undersizing donor hearts by PHM, but not by TBW, was predictive of moderate/severe PGD (OR 3.3, 95% CI 1.3 to 8.6).

Conclusions: Undersized donor hearts by ≥30% by PHM may increase rates of PGD after transplantation, confirming that PHM provides more clinically appropriate size matching than TBW. Better size matching may ultimately allow for expanding the donor pool.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.healun.2018.03.009DOI Listing
July 2018

Reoperative sternotomy is associated with primary graft dysfunction following heart transplantation.

Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg 2018 09;27(3):343-349

Annette C. and Harold C. Simmons Transplant Institute, Baylor Scott & White Research Institute, Dallas, TX, USA.

Objectives: Prior sternotomy is associated with increased morbidity and mortality following heart transplantation. However, its effect on primary graft dysfunction (PGD), a major contributor to early mortality, is unknown. Herein, this effect is studied using the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation consensus definition for PGD.

Methods: Medical records of consecutive adult cardiac transplants between 2012 and 2016 were reviewed. Baseline characteristics, postoperative findings and 1-year survival were compared between patients with and without prior sternotomy.

Results: Among 255 total patients included, 139 (55%) had undergone prior sternotomy; these recipients were older, more often male, had higher body mass index, higher frequencies of united network for organ sharing (UNOS) 1A status and ischaemic cardiomyopathy and experienced longer waitlist times when compared with those without prior sternotomy (all P < 0.018). Postoperatively, the prior sternotomy group exhibited higher rates of mild to severe PGD (32% vs 18%; P = 0.015) and higher short-term mortality (P = 0.017) and 1-year mortality (P = 0.047). They required more blood transfusions, had more postoperative pneumonia, wound infection and longer hospital stays. A stepwise multivariable regression model identified prior sternotomy as a predictor of PGD (odds ratio 2.7). Multiple prior sternotomies was associated with even more UNOS 1A status, ischaemic cardiomyopathy and pneumonia. However, logistic modelling did not show a difference in the rate of PGD between those with 1 or ≥2 prior sternotomies.

Conclusions: Our data suggest that prior sternotomy is a risk factor for PGD. Consistent with previous reports, prior sternotomy is associated with increased morbidity, blood product utilization and 1-year mortality following cardiac transplantation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/icvts/ivy084DOI Listing
September 2018

Comparison of Clinical Characteristics, Complications, and Outcomes in Recipients Having Heart Transplants <65 Years of Age Versus ≥65 Years of Age.

Am J Cardiol 2017 Dec 15;120(12):2207-2212. Epub 2017 Sep 15.

Annette C. and Harold C. Simmons Transplant Institute, Baylor Scott & White Research Institute, Dallas, Texas; Department of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, Texas. Electronic address:

Advanced recipient age remains a limiting factor for heart transplant candidacy, with many centers reluctant to transplant older patients. Here, we report our experience with recipients aged ≥65 years compared with younger recipients in terms of baseline characteristics, intraoperative and immediate postoperative experiences, and post-transplant morbidity and survival. The main study outcome was primary graft dysfunction (PGD), which has not been widely studied in this population. Donor and recipient data from 255 heart transplantations performed between 2012 and 2016 were reviewed. Seventy (27%) recipients were ≥65 years and 185 were younger. The older group had a higher frequency of ischemic cardiomyopathy and more frequently had a previous sternotomy than the younger recipients (all p <0.007). We found no significant differences in post-transplant morbidity (intensive care unit and hospital stay, pneumonia, infections, reoperation for bleeding, stroke, renal failure, or in-hospital mortality; all p >0.12). One-year survival was also similar in the 2 groups (p = 0.88). The incidence of moderate or severe PGD was lower in the older group (6%) than in the younger group (16%; p = 0.037). Multivariate logistic regression found pretransplant creatinine and donor undersizing by predicted heart mass to be predictors of moderate to severe PGD, whereas recipient age ≥65 years was identified as protective against PGD in this cohort. In conclusion, our study showed comparable survival and outcomes in recipients ≥65 years of age with otherwise similar nutritional status and body mass composition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjcard.2017.08.043DOI Listing
December 2017

Utilization of high donor sequence number grafts in cardiac transplantation.

Clin Transplant 2018 01 4;32(1). Epub 2017 Dec 4.

Department of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA.

Donor sequence number (DSN) represents the number of candidates to whom a graft was offered and declined prior to acceptance for transplantation. We sought to investigate the outcomes of patients receiving high DSN grafts. Consecutive isolated adult cardiac transplantations performed at a single-center were reviewed. Recipients were grouped into standard (≤75th percentile) DSN and high (>75th percentile) DSN. A previously validated donor risk index was used to quantify the risk associated with donor grafts, and recipient outcomes were assessed. Overall, 254 patients were included: 194 standard DSN (range 1-79) and 60 high DSN (range 82-1723). High DSN grafts were harvested at greater distance (P < .001) with increased ischemia time (P < .001), resulting in a modest increase in donor risk index (1 point median difference, P = .014). High DSN recipients were less frequently listed as UNOS status 1A (P < .001). Despite a nonsignificant trend toward increased in-hospital/30-day mortality in high DSN recipients, there were no differences in primary graft dysfunction or 1-year survival (high DSN 89% vs standard DSN 88%, P = .82). After adjustment for risk factors, high DSN was not associated with increased 1-year mortality (hazard ratio 1.18, 95%-CI 0.54-2.58, P = .68).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ctr.13128DOI Listing
January 2018

Ambulatory extracorporeal membrane oxygenation with subclavian venoarterial cannulation to increase mobility and recovery in a patient awaiting cardiac transplantation.

Proc (Bayl Univ Med Cent) 2017 Apr;30(2):224-225

Department of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery (Jacob, MacHannaford, Chamogeorgakis, Gonzalez-Stawinski, Rafael, Malyala, Lima) and the Annette C. and Harold C. Simmons Transplant Institute (MacHannaford, Chamogeorgakis, Gonzalez-Stawinski, Felius, Rafael, Malyala, Lima), Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas, Texas.

Venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) can provide temporary cardiopulmonary support for patients in hemodynamic extremis or refractory heart failure until more durable therapies-such as cardiac transplantation or a left ventricular assist device-can be safely implemented. Conventional ECMO cannulation strategies commonly employ the femoral artery and vein, constraining the patients to the supine position for the duration of ECMO support. We have recently adopted a modified cannulation approach to promote patient mobility, rehabilitation, and faster recovery and to mitigate complications associated with femoral arterial cannulation, such as limb ischemia and compartment syndrome. This technique involves cannulation of the subclavian artery and vein. The current case report details our recent experience with this approach in a critically ill patient awaiting cardiac transplantation.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5349837PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08998280.2017.11929596DOI Listing
April 2017

Application of the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) criteria for primary graft dysfunction after cardiac transplantation: outcomes from a high-volume centre†.

Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2017 02;51(2):263-270

Department of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA.

Objectives: A standardized definition for primary graft dysfunction (PGD) after cardiac transplantation was recently proposed by the International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT). We sought to characterize the outcomes associated with and identify risk factors for PGD following cardiac transplantation using these criteria at a high volume centre.

Methods: Donor and recipient medical records of 201 consecutive adult cardiac transplantations performed between November 2012 and March 2015 were retrospectively reviewed. Patients undergoing isolated heart transplantation were diagnosed with none, mild, moderate, or severe PGD using ISHLT criteria. Cumulative survival was calculated according to the Kaplan–Meier method. Associations of risk factors for combined moderate/severe PGD were assessed with univariate and multivariate analyses.

Results: A total of 191 consecutive patients underwent isolated heart transplantation, and 59 (30%) met ISHLT criteria for PGD: 35 (18%) mild, 8 (4%) moderate and 16 (8%) severe. Thirty-day/in-hospital mortality occurred in six (3%) patients, all of whom were diagnosed with severe PGD. Patients with moderate/severe PGD also had significantly increased intensive care unit length of stay (LOS), total LOS, reoperations for bleeding and postoperative infections. Survival at 1-year was diminished with increasing severity of PGD (none 93%, mild 94%, moderate 75% and severe 44%; log-rank P < 0.001). Elevated preoperative creatinine, pretransplantation hospitalized recipient and undersized donor were independently predictive of moderate/severe PGD.

Conclusions: A diagnosis of PGD portends worse outcomes including increased 30-day and 1-year mortality. The ISHLT diagnostic criteria for moderate and severe PGD identify and discriminate patients with PGD in a clinically relevant manner.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ejcts/ezw271DOI Listing
February 2017

HeartMate II Left Ventricular Assist Device Pump Exchange: A Single-Institution Experience.

Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2017 Aug 30;65(5):410-414. Epub 2016 Nov 30.

Department of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, United States.

 Left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) have revolutionized the treatment of patients with end-stage heart failure. These devices are replaced when pump complications arise if heart transplant is not possible. We present our experience with HeartMate II (HMII (Thoratec, Plesanton, California, United States)) LVAD pump exchange.  We retrospectively reviewed all cases that required pump exchange due to LVAD complication from November 2011 until June 2016 at a single high-volume institution. The indications, demographics, and outcome were extracted and analyzed.  Of 250 total patients with implanted HMII LVADs, 16 (6%) required pump exchange during the study period. The initial indications for LVAD placement in these patients were bridge to transplantation ( = 6 [37.5%]) or destination therapy ( = 10 [62.5%]). Fifteen patients (93.8%) required pump exchange due to pump thrombosis and 1 (6.2%) due to refractory driveline infection. Nine patients (56.2%) underwent repeat median sternotomy while a left subcostal approach was used in the remaining seven patients. Fifteen patients (93.7%) survived until hospital discharge. During the follow-up period (median, 155 days), 11 patients remained alive and 4 of these underwent successful cardiac transplantation.  HMII LVAD pump exchange can be safely performed for driveline infection or pump thrombosis when heart transplantation is not an option.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-0036-1593867DOI Listing
August 2017

Using extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support preoperatively and postoperatively as a successful bridge to recovery in a patient with a large infarct-induced ventricular septal defect.

Proc (Bayl Univ Med Cent) 2016 Jul;29(3):301-4

Department of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery (Jacob, Patel, Lima, Malyala, Chamogeorgakis, MacHannaford, Gonzalez-Stawinski, Rafael) and the Annette C. and Harold C. Simmons Transplant Institute (Lima, Felius, Chamogeorgakis, Gonzalez-Stawinski), Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas.

Rupture of the ventricular septum during acute myocardial infarction usually occurs within the first week. The event is usually followed by low cardiac output, heart failure, and multiorgan failure. Despite the many advances in the nonoperative treatment of heart failure and cardiogenic shock, including the intra-aortic balloon pump and a multitude of new inotropic agents and vasodilators, these do not supplant the need for operative intervention in these critically ill patients. This article describes the successful use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support as a bridge to recovery postoperatively in a patient with a large infarct-produced ventricular septal defect.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4900776PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08998280.2016.11929443DOI Listing
July 2016

Distal aortic interventions after repair of ascending dissection: the argument for a more aggressive approach.

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2015 Feb 20;149(2 Suppl):S117-24.e3. Epub 2014 Nov 20.

Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Heart and Vascular Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio.

Objective: Survivors of ascending aortic dissection repair frequently require downstream aortic interventions. Because of a paucity of data, we assessed early and long-term outcomes, and risk factors, of these distal procedures.

Methods: From January 1993 to January 2011, 305 patients underwent 429 distal aortic interventions after acute type A (95% DeBakey type I) dissection repair performed 3.8 years earlier (median); 11% of interventions used an endovascular approach. Maximum aortic size was 5.9 ± 1.3 cm. Median follow-up was 3.6 years.

Results: Hospital mortality was 6.1%. Risk factors included graft infection, concomitant coronary artery bypass grafting, combined open arch and descending procedures, and lower distal anastomotic site. Within 10 years, the probability of patients undergoing a reintervention was 38%, with a cumulative incidence of 55 per 100 patients; however, 40 (9.3%) were stage-II elephant trunks. Patients with larger aortic diameters distal to the initial repair, and a stage-I elephant trunk, were more likely to undergo distal interventions. Survival was 65% at 10 years. Higher body mass index, a longer time between reinterventions, graft infection, combined open arch and descending procedures, and lower distal anastomosis sites were risk factors. The extent of aorta replaced was not associated with increased morbidity or mortality, unless it involved a combined open arch and descending aorta procedure.

Conclusions: Distal interventions after ascending aortic dissection repair are feasible, but they are associated with early morbidity and subsequent reinterventions. Rigorous follow-up with early reintervention is important for improving short- and long-term outcomes. An extended hybrid endovascular repair for initial dissection warrants study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcvs.2014.11.029DOI Listing
February 2015

Modifications, classification, and outcomes of elephant-trunk procedures.

Ann Thorac Surg 2013 Aug 26;96(2):548-58. Epub 2013 Jun 26.

Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Heart and Vascular Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio 44915, USA.

Background: There are a variety of modified elephant-trunk methods, including use of endovascular stents. Our objectives were to classify these modifications, compare outcomes between the classic anastomotic site and these alternatives, and investigate time to second-stage elephant-trunk completion.

Methods: From May 1992 to January 2011, 526 patients underwent a first-stage elephant-trunk procedure and were the subject of analysis.

Results: Distal aortic anastomosis was located before the brachiocephalic artery in 6 patients (1.1%), between brachiocephalic and left common carotid artery (LCCA) in 1 (0.19%), between LCCA and left subclavian artery (LSCA) in 154 (29%), and beyond the LSCA (classic) in 365 (69%). Stroke occurred in 8% (n = 42) overall, 10% (n = 16) in the LCCA-LSCA group, and 6.8% (n = 25) in the classic group. Risk factors were older age and acute dissection. Thirty-day mortality was 7.6% (n = 40) and was similar for LCCA-LSCA (9.7%) and classic sites (6.3%; p = 0.7); risk factors included older age, smaller body surface area, and end-organ dysfunction. Likelihood of death before second-stage elephant trunk at 1, 4, and 8 years after operation was 16%, 22%, and 27%, respectively. The larger the distal aorta, the more likely was second-stage completion (p < 0.0001); when greater than 6 cm, 80% had second-stage completion.

Conclusions: The elephant-trunk operation is safe for a broad population, including when anastomotic sites are other than beyond the LSCA. Without second-stage completion, patient mortality increases markedly after 4 years.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2013.03.082DOI Listing
August 2013
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