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Ann Thorac Surg. 2001 Apr;71(4):1244-9; discussion 1249-50.

Does the extent of proximal or distal resection influence outcome for type A dissections?

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  • 1Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110-1013, USA.



The extent of proximal and distal aortic resection that should be performed for acute type A aortic dissections remains controversial.


From 1984 to 1999, 119 patients underwent repair of an acute type A dissection. Distal resection was to the ascending aorta in 78 (66%) and hemiarch in 41 (34%) patients. Proximally, the aortic valve was preserved in 69 (58%) patients, 40 (34%) underwent composite valve grafting, and 10 (8%) underwent separate graft and valve replacement.


Operative mortality was higher for separate graft and valve (50%+/-16%) than for valve preservation (16%+/-5%) or composite grafts (20%+/-7%) (p < 0.05). Hemiarch replacement did not increase operative risk compared to distal reconstruction to the ascending aorta (17%+/-6% versus 22%+/-5%, p > 0.71). At 10 years, freedom from reoperation was 81%+/-7% and long-term survival was 60%+/-8%, but neither was related to the proximal or distal surgical technique (p > 0.15). Risk factors for late reoperation included a nonresected primary tear and Marfan syndrome (p < 0.05).


An aggressive surgical approach, including a full root or hemiarch replacement, is not associated with increased operative risk and should be considered when type A dissections extensively involve the valve, sinuses, or arch.

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