This study was performed to elucidate the technical and patient-specific risk factors for postoperative ischemia in patients undergoing temporary arterial occlusion (TAO) during the surgical repair of their aneurysms.
Eighty-nine consecutive patients in whom TAO was performed during surgical repair of an aneurysm were retrospectively analyzed. The demographics of the patients were analyzed with respect to age, Hunt and Hess grade on admission, Fisher grade of hemorrhage, aneurysm characteristics, timing of surgery, duration of temporary occlusion, and number of temporary occlusive episodes. Outcome was analyzed at the 3-month follow-up, along with the occurrence of symptomatic and radiological stroke.
In overall, twenty-seven patients (29.3%) had radiologic ischemia attributable to TAO and fifteen patients (16.3%) had symptomatic ischemia attributable to TAO. Older age and poor clinical grade were associated with poor clinical outcome. There was a significantly higher rate of symptomatic ischemia in patients who underwent early surgery (p = 0.007). The incidence of ischemia was significantly higher in patients with TAO longer than 10 minutes (p = 0.01). In addition, patients who underwent repeated TAO, which allowed reperfusion, had a lower incidence of ischemia than those who underwent single TAO lasting for more than 10 minutes (p = 0.011).
Duration of occlusion is the only variable that needs to be considered when assessing the risk of postoperative ischemic complication in patients who undergo temporary vascular occlusion. Attention must be paid to the patient's age, grade of hemorrhage, and the timing of surgery. In addition, patients undergoing dissection when brief periods of temporary occlusion are performed may benefit more from intermittent reperfusion than continuous clip application. With careful planning, the use of TAO is a safe technique when used for periods of less than 10 minutes.