Author + information
- Received August 5, 1991
- Revision received October 22, 1991
- Accepted November 6, 1991
- Published online July 1, 1992.
- Edward S. Katz, MD∗,
- Paul A. Tunick, MD, FACC,
- Henry Rusinek, PhD,
- Greg Ribakove, MD,
- Frank C. Spencer, MD, FACC and
- Itzhak Kronzon, MD, FACC
- ↵∗Address for correspondence: Edward S. Katz, MD, 560 First Avenue, New York, New York 10016.
Protruding atheromas of the aortic arch identified by transesophageal echocardiography have been implicated as a cause of stroke in elderly patients. One hundred thirty patients ≥65 years of age were studied with intraoperative transesophageal echocardiography to detect aortic arch protruding atheromas and determine if these patients were at higher risk for perioperative stroke. Protruding atheromas were identified in 23 (18%) of 130 patients. In 19 (83%) of these 23 patients, palpation of the aortic arch at operation did not identify significant abnormalities. Five patients (4%) had perioperative stroke.
Logistic regression identified aortic arch atheroma as the only historical or procedural variable that was predictive of stroke (odds ratio 5.8, 95% confidence interval 1.2 to 27.9, p < 0.03). A history of peripheral or cerebrovascular disease, presence of aortic calcification, cardiac risk factors, age and duration of cardiopulmonary bypass did not predict stroke. In contrast, patients with protruding atheromas with mobile components were at highest risk. There were 3 (25%) of 12 patients with a mobile atheroma who had a stroke versus 2 (2%) of 118 patients without a mobile atheroma (chi-square = 10.3, p = 0.001).
Displacement and detachment of the frail, protruding atherosclerotic material by aortic arch cannulation or by the high pressure jet emanating from the cannula tip may play an important role in the creation of embolization and stroke.
- Received August 5, 1991.
- Revision received October 22, 1991.
- Accepted November 6, 1991.