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BACKGROUND: Stroke is a major cause of morbidity and mortality during open-heart surgery. Up to 60% of intraoperative cerebral events are emboli induced. This randomized, controlled, multicenter trial is the first human study evaluating the safety and efficacy of a novel aortic cannula producing simultaneous forward flow and backward suction for extracting solid and gaseous emboli from the ascending aorta and aortic arch upon their intraoperative release. METHODS: Sixty-six patients (25 females; 68±10 years) undergoing elective aortic valve replacement surgery, with or without coronary artery bypass graft surgery, were randomized to the use of the CardioGard (CardioGard Medical, Or-Yehuda, Israel) Emboli Protection cannula ("treatment") or a standard ("control") aortic cannula. The primary endpoint was the volume of new brain lesions measured by diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DW-MRI), performed preoperatively and postoperatively. Device safety was investigated by comparisons of complications rate, namely neurologic events, stroke, renal insufficiency and death. RESULTS: Of 66 patients (34 in the treatment group), 51 completed the presurgery and postsurgery MRI (27 in the treatment group). The volume of new brain lesion for the treatment group was (mean±standard error of the mean) 44.00±64.00 versus 126.56±28.74 mm3 in the control group (p=0.004). Of the treatment group, 41% demonstrated new postoperative lesions versus 66% in the control group (p=0.03). The complication rate was comparable in both groups. CONCLUSIONS: The CardioGard cannula is safe and efficient in use during open-heart surgery. Efficacy was demonstrated by the removal of a substantial amount of emboli, a significant reduction in the volume of new brain lesions, and the percentage of patients experiencing new brain lesions.

Original publication




Journal article


Ann Thorac Surg

Publication Date





1627 - 1633


Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Aortic Valve Stenosis, Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Embolic Protection Devices, Embolism, Equipment Design, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Heart Valve Prosthesis Implantation, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Prospective Studies, Treatment Outcome