Right Axillary Artery Cannulation

Kokotsakis, John; Lazopoulos, George; Milonakis, Michael; Athanasiadis, George; Romana, Konstantina; Skouteli, Elian; Bastounis, Elias
June 2005
Texas Heart Institute Journal;2005, Vol. 32 Issue 2, p189
Academic Journal
Extensive aortic disease, such as atherosclerosis with aneurysms or dissections that involve the ascending aorta, can complicate the choice of a cannulation site for cardiopulmonary bypass. To date, the standard peripheral arterial cannulation site has been the common femoral artery; however, this approach carries the risk of atheroembolism due to retrograde aortic perfusion, or it is undesirable because of severe iliofemoral disease. Arterial perfusion through the axillary artery provides sufficient antegrade aortic flow, is more likely to perfuse the true lumen in the event of dissection, and is associated with fewer atheroembolic complications. From September 2000 through March 2004, 27 patients underwent right axillary artery cannulation for acute ascending aortic dissection (n=16), ascending aortic aneurysm (n=9), or coronary artery bypass grafting (n=2). Direct artery cannulation was performed in the first 4 patients, and the last 23 patients were cannulated through a longitudinal arteriotomy via an 8-mm woven Dacron graft. Seventeen patients underwent hypothermic circulatory arrest and antegrade cerebral perfusion. Two patients died intraoperatively: one due to low cardiac output and one due to diffuse bleeding. One patient suffered mild right-arm paresthesia postoperatively, but recovered completely. Axillary artery cannulation was successful in all patients; it provided sufficient arterial flow, and there were no intraoperative problems with perfusion. In the presence of extensive aortic or iliofemoral disease, arterial perfusion through the axillary artery is a safe and effective means of providing sufficient arterial inflow during cardiopulmonary bypass. In this regard, it is an excellent alternative to standard femoral artery cannulation.


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