Minimally invasive mitral valve (MV) surgery, often requiring femoral artery (FA) cannulation, is increasingly being adopted. There is concern about increased stroke rates associated with minimally invasive MV surgery. This study aims to examine whether FA cannulation is independently associated with increased stroke rates in minimally invasive MV procedures. MV procedures from January 2004 to June 2012 were reviewed using our institutional Society of Thoracic Surgeons database. We included 384 patients after the exclusion of patients with emergency procedures, with infective endocarditis, who underwent other concomitant procedures, who were older than 60 years, and with nonstandard aortic clamping (endoballoon or no clamp). Patients were divided into 2 groups: those who underwent aortic cannulation (n = 327) and those who underwent femoral cannulation (n = 57). Risk adjustments through multivariable regression were used to identify independent predictors for various outcomes. Adjustments were made for cardiopulmonary bypass and aortic clamp times. Preoperatively, the femoral cannulation group had less baseline cerebrovascular disease (P = 0.032), heart failure (P = 0.028), and atrial fibrillation (P = 0.012). Other baseline characteristics were similar. The aortic cannulation group had shorter cardiopulmonary bypass (P < 0.001) and clamp times (P < 0.001). There were more repairs done in the FA cannulation group as opposed to replacements. Risk-adjusted outcomes showed a higher incidence of permanent stroke in the femoral cannulation group (P = 0.032). Other outcomes were not significantly different. In conclusion, FA cannulation may be associated with increased stroke rates in isolated MV surgery. Antegrade arterial cannulation (direct aortic or axillary cannulation) may be preferable in minimally invasive MV procedures. Randomized trial data are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-103
Number of pages7
JournalSeminars in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2 2015


  • Cannulation
  • Cardiopulmonary bypass
  • Minimally invasive cardiac surgery
  • Mitral repair, stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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