Juvonen Tatu

Brain Protection in Aortic Arch Surgery


Research Unit: Surgery, Anesthesia and Intensive Care


Group leader

Professor Tatu Juvonen


What do we do

The aim of the experimental surgery research group of Oulu University is to perform research on the subject of neuroprotection during complex cardiac and aortic surgery. Our goal is to find methods to reduce neurological complications associated with cardiac and aortic surgery. In our field of research we use experimental models due to the complexity of our experimental set-ups.

During aortic arch surgery and complex congenital heart defect repair, conventional cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) is not possible within the period in which the arch is excluded from the circulation. Cessation of blood flow results in cerebral ischemia. The brain is the most sensitive organ to ischemia, and consequently neurological complications are the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in these surgical settings.

Preconditioning, neuroprotective strategy is a concept with brief exposure to a sublethal ischemia stimulus providing protection against or tolerance to the injurious effects of a subsequent more severe insult. In our studies we have proven a method of remote ischemic preconditioning to be useful and helpful in reducing neurological damage of the central nervous system.


Our team

Post doc researchers

  • Anttila Vesa, Docent
  • Kiviluoma Kai, Docent
  • Rimpiläinen Riikka, MD, PhD
  • Yannopoulos Fredrik, MD, PhD
  • Mäkelä Tuomas, MD, PhD

PhD students

  • Alestalo Kirsi, MD
  • Arvola Oiva, MD
  • Haapanen Henri, MD
  • Herajärvi Johanna
  • Anttila Tuomas
  • Sarja Henna
  • Mustonen Caius

Other staff

  • Seljänperä Seija, study nurse


Where are we headed

Our aim is to focus on the mechanisms of remote ischemic preconditioning and ischemia-reperfusion injury. All our current research lines aim to better neuroprotection of the central nervous system. Hopefully, in the future the benefits and findings of our preconditioning approach and experimental surgical techniques can be applied to clinical practice.


Our main collaborators


Professor Heikki Huikuri, Department of Internal Medicine, Medical Research Center, University Hospital and University of Oulu, Finland
Professor Petri Lehenkari, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Oulu, Finland
Professor Ulla Puistola, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University Hospital of Oulu, Finland
Professor Peppi Karppinen, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Oulu, Finland
Docent Mika Kallio, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, University Hospital of Oulu, Finland


Professor Victor Tsang, Department of Surgery, Division of Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery, Great Ormond Street Hospital, London, UK


How to find us


Last updated: 9.7.2019