Results of immediate surgical treatment of all acute type A dissections

M P Ehrlich, M A Ergin, J N McCullough, S L Lansman, J D Galla, C A Bodian, A Apaydin, R B Griepp
Circulation 2000 November 7, 102 (19): III248-52

BACKGROUND: Surgery for acute type A aortic dissection is associated with a high mortality rate and incidence of postoperative complications. This study was designed to explore perioperative risk factors for death in patients with acute type A aortic dissection.

METHODS AND RESULTS: One hundred twenty-four consecutive patients with acute type A aortic dissection between 1984 and 1998 were reviewed. All underwent operation with resection of the intimal tear and open distal anastomosis: 107 patients had surgery within 24 hours and 17 patients had surgery within 72 hours of symptom onset. Median age was 62 years (23 to 89); 89 were men. Forty-three patients had ascending aortic replacement only, 72 had hemiarch repair, in 2 the entire arch was replaced, and in 7 replacement included the proximal descending aorta. The aortic valve was replaced in 54 patients, resuspended in 52, and untouched in 18. Hospital mortality rate was 15.3% (19 of 124): of these, 3 patients died during surgery, 4 had fatal rupture of the distal aorta before discharge, and 2 died of malperfusion-related complications. Multivariate analysis revealed age >60, hemodynamic compromise, and absence of hypertension as preoperative indicators of hospital death (P:<0.05); the presence of new neurological symptoms was a significant preoperative risk factor in univariate analysis. Ominous intraoperative factors included contained hematoma and a comparatively low esophageal temperature but not cerebral ischemic time (mean 32 minutes). The site of the intimal tear did not influence outcome, but mortality rate was higher with more extensive resection: 43% with resection including the descending aorta died versus 14% with only ascending aorta or hemiarch replacement. Overall 5- and 10-year survival was 71% and 54%, respectively; among discharged patients (median follow-up 41 months) survival was 84% and 64% versus expected US survival of 92% and 79%.

CONCLUSIONS: Immediate surgical treatment of all acute type A dissections with resection of the intimal tear and use of hypothermic circulatory arrest for distal anastomosis results in acceptable early mortality rates and excellent long-term survival.

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