Background Thoracic aortic operations still remain associated with substantial risks of death and neurologic injury. This study investigated the impact of surgical stroke on the early and late outcomes, focusing on the physical status and quality of life (QOL). Methods From 1986 to 2008, 500 patients (aged 63 ± 13 years) underwent open thoracic aortic repair for root and ascending (31%), arch (39%), extended arch (10%), and descending and thoracoabdominal (19%) aneurysms. Brain protection consisted of retrograde cerebral perfusion (52%), antegrade cerebral perfusion (29%), and simple deep hypothermic circulatory arrest (19%). Surgical stroke was defined as a neurologic deficit persisting more than 72 hours after the operation. QOL was assessed with the Short-Form 36 Health Survey Questionnaire 5.9 ± 4.2 years after the operation. Results Stroke occurred in 10.3% of patients. Hospital mortality was 21% in the stroke group and 2.7% in the nonstroke group (p < 0.001). At hospital discharge, 76% of survivors in the stroke group had permanent neurologic deficits (PNDs), with sustained tracheostomy in 39%, tube feeding in 46%, and gastrostomy in 14%, and 89% required transfer to other facilities. PND was an independent risk factor for late death (hazard ratio, 2.29; 95% confidence interval, 1.04 to 4.62; p = 0.041) in a multivariate analysis. The physical component of the QOL score was worse in the PND group (51% vs 100%; p = 0.039), whereas the mental component was similar in both groups (14% vs 14%). Conclusions Surgical stroke is associated with high hospital mortality and PNDs that decrease late survival and the physical component score of the QOL survey.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine