Article Abstract

State-of the-art review on the renal and visceral protection during open thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm repair

Authors: Karl Waked, Marc Schepens


During open thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm repair (OTAAAR), there is an inevitable organ ischemic period that occurs when the abdominal arteries are being reattached to the aortic graft. Despite various protective techniques, the incidence of renal and visceral complications remains substantial. This state-of-the-art review gives an overview of the current and most evidence-based organ protection methods during OTAAAR, based on the most recent publications and personal experience. An electronic search was performed in four medical databases, using the following MeSH terms: thoracoabdominal aneurysm, TAAAR, visceral protection, renal protection, kidney, perfusion, and intestines. Every publication type was considered. The literature search was ended on August 31st, 2017. The left heart bypass (LHB) is currently the most frequent adjunct to provide distal aortic perfusion (DAP) during aortic clamping. Together with systemic hypothermia, it forms the cornerstone in organ protection during aortic clamping. Further renal protection can be obtained by selective renal perfusion (SRP) with cold blood or cold crystalloid solution, the latter enriched with mannitol. The perfusion should be administered in a volume- and pressure-controlled way and, if possible, by use of a pulsatile pump. Selective visceral perfusion (SVP) is not routinely used, as it does not provide adequate blood flow for visceral protection. The best way to protect the intestines is by minimizing the ischemic time. The preservation of renal and visceral function after OTAAAR can only be obtained with specific strategies before, during, and after the operation. This involves a series of measures, including selective digestive decontamination (SDD), avoidance of nephrotoxic drugs, minimizing the renal and intestinal ischemic time, systemic cooling, avoidance of hemodynamic instability, and regional protective perfusion of the kidneys. Future innovations in catheters, cardiac bypass flow types, mechanical components, hybrid vascular grafts, and pharmaceutical protection measures will hopefully further reduce organ complications.