The INTERCEPT Trial: Carbon-Dioxide Flushing versus Saline Flushing of Thoracic Aortic Stents
• 2021-present SMO Vascular Endovascular & Transplant Surgery, Canterbury DHB
• 2021-present Associate Editor (Randomised Controlled Trials, Methodology and statistics), European Journal Vascular and Endovascular Surgery
• 2021-present Senior Lecturer Vascular Surgery, University of Otago
• 2018-present Honorary Lecturer Vascular Surgery, King’s College London
• SMO Vascular Endovascular & Transplant Surgeon
Keyhole repair of the major blood vessel in the chest (the ‘aorta’) is done to prevent death from the blood vessel bursting, for example due to an ‘aortic aneurysm’ or ‘aortic dissection’. Unfortunately the operation has an unavoidable small risk of stroke, and also ‘silent stroke’. These patients may suffer with decline in brain function and delirium, but the long-term detrimental effects of silent strokes are unclear. We think these silent strokes are mostly caused by tiny air bubbles trapped within the fabric of the stents used for the keyhole operation. In this trial, we will evaluate whether flushing the stents with carbon dioxide gas and then liquid (prior to insertion in the patient) will be better at removing the trapped air bubbles than just using liquid alone (which is current standard practice), and reduce the number of silent strokes (and associated mental decline) that patients suffer. This trial may provide a cheap and readily useable method of reducing the risk of stroke in these patients.