This site is not optimized for Internet Explorer 8 (or older).

Please upgrade to a newer version of Internet Explorer or use an alternate browser such as Chrome or Firefox.

How to Deal With Graft Kinking in Ascending Aortic Surgery

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Kaleda V, Alekseev IA, Molochkov AV. How to Deal With Graft Kinking in Ascending Aortic Surgery. November 2019. doi:10.25373/ctsnet.10563995.

Ascending aortic graft kinking occurs incidentally after replacement of the ascending aorta. If not corrected, graft kinking may cause heart failure (1), severe hemolytic anemia with renal dysfunction (2), or graft thrombosis and thromboembolism (3). All these complications require redo surgery to replace the kinked graft.

The reason for aortic graft kinking is excessive graft length. To prevent graft kinking, one should measure the graft length and size appropriately before completing the last aortic anastomosis. Though it sounds easy, it is sometimes challenging, as measurements and anastomoses are performed on an empty heart, and after declamping and filling the heart, the relationships of the graft to the heart and the aortic arch may change, causing graft kinking. Shortening of the graft may be needed at this stage.

The most conservative approach is to reclamp the aorta and resect the graft under repeat cardioplegia. A more complicated approach is to apply two clamps above and beneath the kinking and perform resection on a beating heart under selective root perfusion with warm oxygenated blood. However, there is a nonclamping technique for graft kinking that was first described 20 years ago (4). This very simple but extremely effective technique is not widely known, so the authors have decided to share it in this video using a simulation model.


  1. Numaguchi K, Hatake S, Ueda T, Tomita Y. A kinked aortic tube graft after aortic root replacement causes heart failure: usefulness of the right parasternal approach on echocardiography. J Med Ultrason. 2015;42(2):291-292.
  2. Kitahara H, Yoshitake A, Hachiya T, Okamoto K, Kawaguchi S, Shimizu H. Kinked graft and anastomotic stenosis-induced hemolytic anemia requiring reoperation. Ann Vasc Surg. 2016;30:308.e1-308.e4.
  3. Wahba A, Ødegård A, Skjetne K, Dalen H. Late thrombosis of a kinked ascending aortic graft. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2014;46(1):140.
  4. Zattera GF, Actis Dato GM, Del Ponte S, Poletti GA. A simple method to correct aortic tube graft kinking without cardiopulmonary by-pass and aortic clamping. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2000;18(5):611-612.


Thanks to dr Kaleda and Molochkov for this video really useful to understand an easy Trick to resolve a big problem. This simple technique that we used at first time in ascending aorta replacement Can also be used in aortic arch replacement and frozen elephant to have a good redistribution of the new geometry after graft positioning.
Thank you very much for your kind comments. I think this technique may be also used in any procedure which includes long curved vascular grafts with potential risk of graft kinking such as LVADs and more rare ascending-to-descending aortic bypass, apico-aortic conduit, mitral valve bypass, etc. Thanks again. Vasily
Many thanks for this great video! One remark: if you would apply the same kind of sutures alongside the greater curvature thus decreasing its length and sagitta, this might further help alleviate the kinking of the lesser curvature.
Dear Constantine, thanks for your valuable remark. I have never heard about this suture for the greater curvature, will try it next time during a simulation session.

Add comment

Log in or register to post comments