Femoral arterial cannulation remains a safe and reliable option for aortic dissection repair

Anthony Lemaire, Joshua Chao, Lauren Salgueiro, Hirohisa Ikegami, Leonard Y. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The optimal cannulation site for repair of type A aortic dissection remains controversial. The concern for Malperfusion syndrome has initiated a national trend away from femoral cannulation to axillary artery and direct ascending aortic cannulation. The purpose of this study was to report a single center experience with femoral artery cannulation for the repair of a type A dissection. Methods: A retrospective study was performed on 52 patients who underwent surgical repair for a type A dissection between January 1st, 2012 and June 30th, 2019 at a single institution. Of the 52 patients analyzed, 35 (67.3%) underwent femoral artery, 11 (21.2%) direct ascending aortic, and 6 (11%) axillary artery cannulation for arterial access. Deep hypothermic circulatory arrest was used in all the patients. Rates of postoperative complication and mortality were reported. Results: The mortality and bleeding rates for all the patients undergoing repair of the type A dissection repairs were 27% (14/52) and 19% (10/52), respectively. Cardiopulmonary bypass was established in 100% of the patients that had femoral arterial cannulation. There were no complications specifically related to femoral arterial cannulation nor the axillary or direct aortic approach. Specifically, there was no episodes of malperfusion syndrome, bleeding, or injury with femoral artery cannulation. Bleeding rates were higher in cases that proceeded with a femoral (13%) versus alternate (6%) approach however; neither of the bleeding was related to the cannulation site. None of the mortalities identified were directly attributable to the cannulation approach in each case. Conclusions: Despite the recent shift away from femoral cannulation, the results of the study show that femoral artery cannulation is safe and produces excellent results for establishing cardiopulmonary bypass. The concerns for malperfusion syndrome related to femoral cannulation were not seen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1005-1010
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Thoracic Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


  • Aortic dissection
  • Femoral artery
  • Malperfusion


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