Cerebral emboli detected during bypass surgery are associated with clamp removal

D. Barbut, R. B. Hinton, T. P. Szatrowski, G. S. Hartman, M. Bruefach, P. Williams-Russo, M. E. Charlson, J. P. Gold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

263 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose Transcranial Doppler ultrasonography detects embolic signals during coronary artery bypass surgery. The relationship between embolization and specific events of bypass surgery is unclear. Methods With this technique, 20 patients undergoing bypass surgery were continuously monitored from inception to discontinuation of bypass. Results Embolic signals were detected in all patients. Of all embolic signals, 34% were detected as aortic cross-clamps were removed, and another 24% as aortic partial occlusion clamps were removed. Only 5% were detected at inception of bypass. Rates for embolization were 15.15 embolic signals per minute at cross-clamp removal, 10.9 embolic signals per minute at partial occlusion clamp removal, and fewer than 3 embolic signals per minute at other times. Correlation was found between the number of emboli, severity of aortic atheromatosis, and neurocognitive deterioration. Conclusions The majority of emboli detected during coronary artery bypass grafting are associated with the release of clamps. Clamp manipulation may lead to release of aortic atheromatous debris. These emboli may be relevant to neurocognitive outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2398-2402
Number of pages5
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Cerebral embolism and thrombosis
  • Risk factors
  • Surgery
  • Ultrasonics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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