Pectoral Muscle Atrophy After Axillary Artery Cannulation for Aortic Arch Surgery

Ken ichi Imasaka, Yukihiro Tomita, Takuya Nishijima, Eiki Tayama, Shigeki Morita, Ryohei Toriya, Akira Shiose

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1 Citation (Scopus)


To investigate postoperative pectoral atrophy in 141 patients undergoing aortic arch surgery involving bilateral axillary artery cannulations with side grafts. The depth from the skin to the axillary artery surrounding the thoracoacromial artery (zone 1), and the thicknesses of pectoralis major (zone 2) and pectoralis minor (zone 3) were measured by computed tomography before surgery, at 1 and 6 months after surgery, and at the most recent follow-up assessment (PostT2) (mean = 41 months, range 11–75 months). Based on the median value (47.4 mm) of zone 1, the preoperative pectoral thickness was categorized into 2 groups: pectoral thickness >47.4 mm (thick group) and ≤47.4 mm (thin group). Mean changes in the pectoral thickness from baseline were evaluated using the longitudinal mixed-effects model. Forty-three of 110 patients underwent total arch replacements and extra-anatomical bypasses for left subclavian artery anastomoses. In 3 patients, axillary artery grafts became infected. There was no obvious harm associated with muscle wasting. Mean changes from baseline in zones 1, 2, and 3 showed significant declines at PostT2 (−13.40 ± 9.73 mm [P < 0.0001], −7.00 ± 5.23 mm [P < 0.0001], and −7.23 ± 6.42 mm [P < 0.0001], respectively). In the thick group, the progression of pectoral atrophy in zones 1 and 3 was significantly more than that of the thin group (P < 0.0001 for both zones). Postoperative pectoral atrophy progressed rapidly. The preoperative pectoral size might be of no use in the prevention of pectoral atrophy. Further investigation to prevent the pectoral atrophy is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)414-421
Number of pages8
JournalSeminars in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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