Intraoperative ultrasonographic evaluation of the ascending aorta in 100 consecutive patients undergoing cardiac surgery.

V. G. Davila-Roman, B. Barzilai, T. H. Wareing, S. F. Murphy, N. T. Kouchoukos

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Abstract

Dislodgement of atheromatous plaque from the ascending aorta following manipulation is one of the principal causes of stroke following cardiac surgery. To define clinical correlates that predict the presence of severe atherosclerosis, we performed ultrasonographic evaluation of the ascending aorta at the time of cardiac surgery in 100 consecutive patients. The ascending aorta was divided into three equal segments for analysis, and the severity of atherosclerosis was determined as mild when intimal thickening (less than 3 mm) was localized to one segment, moderate when intimal thickening (greater than 3 mm) was present in one or two segments, and severe when intimal thickening (greater than 3 mm) was present throughout the entire circumference in all three segments. Thirty-eight percent of the studies were normal, mild atherosclerosis was present in 33%, moderate atherosclerosis in 19%, and severe atherosclerosis in 10% of the patients. Palpation of the ascending aorta to detect atherosclerosis significantly underestimated the presence (p less than 0.001) and severity (p less than 0.001) of atherosclerosis when compared with ultrasonography. Age, carotid artery disease, diabetes, gender, smoking, and hypertension were evaluated for their ability to discriminate between normal and severely atherosclerotic aortas. Stepwise logistic regression analysis showed age (p less than 0.02) and diabetes (p less than 0.04) to be significant independent predictors of the presence of severe atherosclerosis in the ascending aorta. Based on the ultrasonographic findings, the operative procedure was altered to reduce the risk of embolization in 17% of the patients. We conclude that high-resolution images of the ascending aorta for identification of atherosclerosis can be obtained by ultrasonography.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)III47-53
JournalCirculation
Volume84
Issue number5 Suppl
StatePublished - Nov 1 1991

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    Davila-Roman, V. G., Barzilai, B., Wareing, T. H., Murphy, S. F., & Kouchoukos, N. T. (1991). Intraoperative ultrasonographic evaluation of the ascending aorta in 100 consecutive patients undergoing cardiac surgery. Circulation, 84(5 Suppl), III47-53.